The Board of Investments (BOI) has recently approved the application of OIKOS Sustainable Solutions Incorporated (OIKOS) as the new producer of Hidrobags under the newly-enacted Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) under “all qualified manufacturing activities including agro-processing.”

OIKOS, a newly-formed corporation in December 2020, will invest a total of ₱35 million in a production facility to be located in Doña Remedios Trinidad Highway, Baliuag, Bulacan. The company will produce Hidrobags at an annual capacity of 720,000 kilos.  It is a 100% Filipino-owned corporation that will start commercial operations in August 2021. The project will create employment for 15-31 people in the area.

OIKOS will manufacture sustainable packaging products called “Hidrobags” as an alternative to paper and plastic bags as a solution to the growing concerns on plastic bags and marine litter. The bags range from shopping bags, dissolvable laundry bags, trash bags, keep bags, and mailer bags. Hidrobag is currently being produced in Costa Rica with the main office in Chile. The raw material is manufactured in Indonesia with machines coming from China.

OIKOS was born from the passion of its investors to find a solution to the rising climate change and plastic pollution in our country. The company was in search to find sustainable packaging as an alternative to paper and plastic bags. Thus OIKOS found Hidrobag from Latin America which uses natural polymers that are not harmful to the environment. The CEO and major stockholder of OIKOS, has entered into a licensing and distribution contract with Hidrobag Corp. S.A. which is the inventor/owner of the proprietary right over the brand name “Hidrobag”, and the machinery and the accessories used to manufacture and produce such products, which are registered under its public mercantile registry and the Registry of Trademarks of the National Institute of Industrial Property. In the contract, one of the obligations of OIKOS is “to implement and manufacture Hidrobag products.” 

Per representation of the firm, the manufacturing process for Hidrobags is similar to the manufacturing of petroleum-based plastic bags (i.e., extrusion). The company believes that the project is even pioneering based on the raw materials that the company will utilize.  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. It is compostable and water-soluble above 70°C. It can even be eaten by fish if thrown into the oceans. It is non-toxic, plastic-free, has no greenhouse effect, and is completely biodegradable.

OIKOS is targeting companies that are shifting to eco-friendly products such as supermarkets, convenience stores, hospitals, hotels, boutique shops, and local government municipalities – any establishment utilizing single-use secondary packaging plastics, which has already been banned by most LGUs in Metro Manila. Using eco-friendly products is the wave of the future, moving from a singular economy to a circular economy. ♦

Date of Release: 5 July 2021