Virgin Megastores Introduces Fully Biodegradable Shopping Bags
Updated on 15 October 2019

Virgin Megastores in the UAE has announced that all its plastic shopping bags across it’s UAE stores with be replaced with fully biodegradable bio-cassava bags from AVANI.

Encouraging shoppers to avoid using single-use plastic, the announcement was made through Twitter by the founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, announcing the #thisbagisahero campaign alongside a video showing how AVANI’s bio-cassava bags are made saying “Virgin Megastore is repacking plastic shopping bags with fully biodegradable bio-cassava bags across all of their UAE stores - great initiative.”


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The bio-cassava bags from AVANI are made from organic resins, cassava starch and vegetable oil making them 100% biodegradable, compostable and non-toxic. The bags can also be dissolve in water and are proven to be harmless if consumed by animals. Virgin Megastores is the first major retailer in the UAE to switch to them, and the bags are available in all Virgin Megastores in the UAE for Dhs 1.

The bags work exactly like plastic bags but are fully compostable within 180 days and can be reused or, if not needed again, can simply be dissolved instantly in hot water.

Vartivar Basmajian, Head of Franchise and Brand of Virgin Megastore said: “Large amounts of plastic enter the ocean every minute, every day. According to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change 11 billion plastic bags are used annually in the UAE alone. Plastic pollution is a pressing environmental issue posing serious health risk in our eco-system. Which is why Virgin Megastore has decided to take a stand. Virgin Megastores will replace all of its shopping bags with bio-cassava bags in partnership with AVANI. Being part of the Virgin group, we believe in doing business for good. This is just the beginning.”

Peter Avram, Director of AVANI Middle East, added: “Virgin Megastore joins over 200 hospitality and retails businesses providing consumers with 100% sustainable and compostable alternative solutions to single-use plastic, since we launched AVANI Middle East in the UAE in 2017. This November we will open the first-ever production facility in the Middle East to produce the Bio-Cassava bags in Dubai Science Park, Dubai. This marks our next step in the journey for AVANI to produce all our Bio-cassava bags here in the UAE and it is partnerships such as Virgin Megastores that is supporting our growth and impact to offer solutions to businesses that want to reducing the use of single-use plastic and make an impact on our planet.”

Virgin Megastores has also released a series of videos as part of the #thisbagisahero campaign which can be seen through their social media channels.


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