February 17, 2019
Latest News
Science & Technology

Chile presents in Miami shopping bag that dissolves in water in 3 minutes

 Patricio Cabezas shows how the biodegradable plastic grocery bags manufactured by his Chilean firm - Solubag - dissolves in water in just three minutes at an event in Miami on Dec. 4, 2018.  EFE-EPA/Giorgio Viera

Patricio Cabezas shows how the biodegradable plastic grocery bags manufactured by his Chilean firm - Solubag - dissolves in water in just three minutes at an event in Miami on Dec. 4, 2018. EFE-EPA/Giorgio Viera

Miami, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Patricio Cabezas submerges a plastic shopping bag in water and three minutes later it has completely dissolved but, not content with that, afterwards he drinks the water before members of the public attending a Miami event showcasing Chile's innovative talent, in this case focusing on saving the oceans.

Cabezas - one of the five partners in Solubag, the firm that this year won the prize for the best innovation in Latin America awarded by Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think-tank that partners with Google and other tech firms - was in Miami on Tuesday to participate in the ProChile Innovative Summit along with representatives from 24 other Chilean companies.

The ideas and items the firms are offering are many and varied, demonstrating that minerals, wines, fruit and salmon - products for which Chile is well-known around the world - are not the only areas where the South American country is gaining clout, as Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero said at the inauguration of the event.

Another firm showcasing its products and ideas is Levita Magnetics, which is developing innovative magnetic surgical platforms to enable doctors to perform less invasive laparoscopic surgery, thus reducing patients' pain and recovery time after their operations.

The huge artificial lagoons of Crystal Lagoon, the first fighting videogame created in Latin America by the AOne company, an app that allows users to get 360-degree views Chile's attractions and the Motion Displays platform that enables storeowners to show distant customers products as if they were standing right in the store are some of the other attractions at the fair.

Solubag's aim, moreso than earning money, is to reduce pollution in the oceans, Cabezas - an engineer like his partners who worked for Chile's biggest plastics manufacturer before joining the firm - told EFE.

"First I helped to create the problem and now I'm solving it," he said with a smile.

One of Solubag's grocery bags dissolves in just three minutes when submerged in water, although normally it takes 500 years for most plastics to disintegrate, Cabezas said, adding that he came to Miami seeking contracts and attempting to raise capital and participation in the firm founded in 2014.

The raw material used in manufacturing the bags - polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) - is the same substance used in pharmaceutical capsules, he said, emphasizing that it is "harmless," meaning that it does not contaminate the water in which it dissolves.

The best proof of this claim is that Cabezas and his partners - Roberto Astete, Alejandro Castro, Christian Olivares and Salvador Matte - are in good health, despite having drunk many glasses of water containing dissolved bags at events like the one in Miami.

The bags are just as strong as regular plastic grocery bags, holding 5 kg (11 pounds) of items, and - although they presently cost three times what commonly used bags cost - Cabezas said that the price will decline as more stores begin using them.

News history
Chile, the perfect window on 2019's total eclipse of the sun

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Spain gives family of ex-dictator Franco 15 days to suggest new burial site

Madrid, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- The family of military dictator Gen. Francisco Franco has two weeks to suggest where they would like his remains to be buried...

'The NASA Archives. 60 Years in Space' book presentation in Madrid

Madrid, Feb (efe-epa).- A book portraying the history of the United States National Aeronautical Space Administration, better known by its initials NASA,...

Theft of precious bonsai worries cultivators in Japan

Tokyo, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Japanese cultivators are despairing over the future of stolen bonsai plants, several of them hundreds of years old, from nurseries...

Airbus A-380: the double-decker giant of the skies that never really took off

París, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The A-380, a mammoth double-decker commercial airliner, was supposed to revolutionize the way people flew to far-off...

Nintendo announces 'Super Mario Maker 2', return of 'Link's Awakening'

Washington DC, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Japanese electronics giant Nintendo on Wednesday announced the launch of "Super Mario Maker 2" for its Switch console as...

NASA declares Opportunity rover that explored Mars to be dead

Washington, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- NASA announced Wednesday that the wheeled robot Opportunity that explored part of the surface of the Red Planet up close and...

Entrepreneurs urge women in Colombia to push into science, tech

Medellin, Colombia, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- To defy stereotypes, sexism and discrimination and inspire girls with a vocation for science and technology to pursue...

Scientists find 29,000-year-old Neanderthal footprint, 2nd ever, in Gibraltar

Seville (Spain), Feb 13 (efe-epa).- A group of international researchers working in Gibraltar, on the southwesternmost tip of Europe, have discovered a...

Ancient sea monster fossil discovered in Argentina thrills paleontologists

Buenos Aires, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- The discovery in southern Argentina of the fossilized remains of a fierce aquatic reptile that roved the seas 66 million...

Russia steps up research on cosmonaut-humanoid robot interaction in space

Moscow, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Russia's space agency is set to increase its research into cosmonaut interaction and communication with humanoid robots during...

Women from all over the world promote a female "big bang" in science

Bogota, Feb 10 (efe-epa).- Nearly three hundred scientists gathered in a global program for the planet are trying to promote a "big bang" of women in...

Chile celebrates 50 years of star gazing at La Silla Observatory

Cerro La Silla, Chile, Feb 10 (efe-epa).- The La Silla Observatory, located in northern Chile, is celebrating 50 years of providing a window to the Universe...

Colombia launches int'l think tank aimed at spurring nation's development

Bogota, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Colombia's government has launched a think tank that is made up of 43 experts from different countries and areas of expertise and...

Spanish team use innovative WindSled to collect data for NASA in Antarctica

Johannesburg, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- A team of Spanish scientists returned from a 52-day expedition to the Antarctic using an innovative and environmentally...

King of Spain backs celebration of first sailing expedition around the world

Madrid, 8 Feb (efe-epa).- The king of Spain expressed support on Friday to a Spanish exploration society that is to re-enact one of the world's greatest...

London's iconic Kew Gardens take on Colombian flair with new orchids display

London, Feb 7 (efe-epa).- On the other – much chillier – side of the pond, London's most iconic botanic garden is set to recreate the essence of far-flung...

Amazon invests in driverless startup Aurora, valued at more than $2 billion

Madrid, Feb 7 (efe-epa).- Amazon has invested in high-profile autonomous-vehicle startup Aurora, giving the online retailer insight into the fast-developing...

Fossils of new dinosaur species found in Argentina's Patagonia

Buenos Aires, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- A group of paleontologists discovered fossils from a heretofore unknown species of dinosaur in Argentina's Patagonia region,...

Researchers find further evidence linking gut bacteria to clinical depression

London, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- A team of microbiologists has discovered new evidence strengthening the links between gut bacteria and mental health issues such...

Young Mexicans create biofuel with almond shells

By Ivette Mota

Chilean family lives surrounded by the wildest seas on the planet

Hornos Island, Chile, Jan 31 (EFE).- The wild seas surrounding Cape Horn, where 10,000 seafarers are believed to have died, are now being watched over by...

China, US lead in Artificial Intelligence innovation, Europe limps behind

Geneva, Jan 31 (efe-epa).- China and the United States are the global leaders when it comes to the development of Artificial Intelligence products that take...

Ecuadorian mummy may hold clues to spread of rare malady

Quito, Jan 30 (epa-efe).- A mummified body discovered in the central Ecuadorian city of Guano may be the missing link to understanding the spread in Europe...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.