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Manufacturer of cassava-made bags gets BoI approval


THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) has approved a P35-million facility in Bulacan that will make Hidrobags, which are packaging products made from cassava.

The Hidrobag project that uses cassava starch as a plastic alternative has been approved under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, BoI said in a press release on Tuesday.

The facility of Filipino-owned firm Oikos will produce 720,000 kilos of Hidrobags each year, with operations slated to start in August. The project will employ 15-31 people in the Baliuag town area.

“Hidrobag looks like plastic but has no plastic content. It will be manufactured by using only cassava starch and naturally derived vegetable oils. It can degrade naturally even in the landfill in 180 days,” BoI said.

Oikos has a licensing and distribution contract with Hidrobag Corp., which has proprietary rights over the brand name Hidrobag and the machinery used to make the products.

Headquartered in Chile, Hidrobag Corp. products are made in Costa Rica, while raw materials are manufactured in Indonesia and machines are delivered from China.

BoI said Oikos is aiming to sell the products to companies like supermarkets, shops, and hospitals that plan to use eco-friendly products as more local government units ban single-use plastics. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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