We began using plastics a mere 60 years ago. It’s hard to comprehend that in such a short time plastic waste has grown to an incomprehensible 8.3 billion metric tons!
What’s more, despite lofty goals, an astonishing 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.
It’s time to take a step back and start looking at alternatives to plastic packaging and the like to avoid using so much plastic.
The great news is that there are many viable alternatives to single-use plastic packaging. Let’s look at a few here.
Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing plant that is a sustainable source of biodegradable material. It requires little to no fertilizer and pesticides and thus is a better option for the planet in other ways as well.
It is easy to make into many products that we now use. For example, straws, disposable cutlery, toothbrushes, and even clothes. Edofiber is a Japanese company offering elegant paper products and chopsticks fashioned from bamboo.
Sugarcane is another fast-growing plant that holds tremendous promise as an alternative packaging to plastic bags and other plastic products. It can be made into ethanol, which can, in turn, be made into vegetable plastic.
The best part is, this 100% vegetable plastic can be used to make bottles, bags, and other forms of plastic packaging.
A byproduct of sugarcane processing, bagasse can be harvested and used to replace even more types of plastic packaging. It is moldable and malleable and can be turned into disposable take out food packaging.
It is similar to polystyrene, yet is biodegradable and compostable.
4. Palm Leaves
Fallen palm leaves from the areca palm can be gathered and molded into whatever shape you like. Some companies are using this as packaging for their handmade soaps rather than wrapping them in plastic.
5. Corn Starch and Sorghum
Packing peanuts are great for protecting fragile items, but they’re not so great for the environment. However, alternatives have been made from both corn starch and sorghum. As a biodegradable product, this loose fill can be tossed into boxes without the worry of overrunning the environment with packing peanuts.
Even better? They don’t have that annoying static cling of regular packing peanuts!
6. Barley and Wheat
Six-pack rings are the bane of sea life everywhere. However, now these rings are being made of barley and wheat remnants. If these fall into the ocean, the sea life doesn’t have to be worried about being strangled, they can have a snack instead!
Many More Alternatives to Plastic Packaging
We’ve barely scratched the surface on the alternatives to plastic packaging that are available and being developed. Thankfully, having realized the error of producing so much plastic, innovative people are coming up with viable alternative packaging solutions to plastic and helping to make the world a cleaner place.
Want to learn more interesting facts or tips and tricks about pretty much anything? Be sure to check out more articles on our blog!
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