Solubag SpA (Chile) and Polye Materials Co (China) recently released two shopping bags that look like a regular plastic bag, but they can dissolve quickly in water. The bag is made from modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and is already being produced at close to the same cost as traditional plastic bags. The company has made a traditional looking plastic bag that can dissolve in cold water in five minutes, and a tougher reusable canvas bag that can dissolve in hot water. These bags do not damage the environment, and the user can easily destroy them whenever they are ready (one of the inventors went so far as to dissolve a bag and then drink the water during a press conference). In addition to published US and PCT patent applications on this technology, Solubag recently won the Singularity U award, which will give its inventors the chance to spend ten weeks in Silicon Valley to work on company development and production cost minimization. The timing of Solubag is notable, as Chile has banned the use of single-use plastics, and other countries including Britain are expected to follow suit soon.