Our green rock chick has found hope by discovering alternatives that may just save the planet
With the war on plastic being one of the biggest challenges the world is facing (which is mostly thanks to David Attenborough’s fantastic BBC Blue Planet), we are all becoming aware of the tonnes of stuff that is filling the oceans and natural world. As plastic is so prolifically used, especially in packaging, brands need to find alternatives, and fast. I personally have hated plastic for years and tried my hardest to avoid it by shopping at my local greengrocer, buying loose, storing food in glass jars, and using wax food wraps and paper bags. But I do realise that plastics have become a way of life, often going unnoticed, even by me. In my bathroom are shampoos, conditioners and beauty products all packaged in plastic, and in my kitchen, all the cleaning products are all in plastic bottles, and when it comes to children’s toys there’s definitely no escaping it. It’s awful – we are in the age of plastic and it’s time for brands to take a responsible approach.
Plastic manufacturers need to make all plastics biodegradable. I think the industry should work towards developing an entirely plastic-free packaging market.
They mix agricultural waste with mycellium (mushroom root) and actually grow the packaging!
This is an incredible thing made from waste product from the production of corn. It can be used to make drinks bottles and various foodgrade containers.
A byproduct of sugar cane processing, and because it’s sticky it is excellent for making containers for the food industry, plus it’s biodegradable and compostable.
Prawn shell plastic bags
Scientists have been working on a material called chitosan, which is made from prawn and crab shells. Nothing has been commercially made yet but the material has great potential.
Casein protein found in milk and has been used to make plastics for years but went out of favour for the more hard-wearing, long-lasting petrochemical variety. So it’s time for milk plastics to make a comeback!
Natureflex is a young brother of cellophane and is made from FSCcertified woodpulp. This is perfect for confectionery, tea, coffee and chocolate.
Eco-flow fill is made from cornstarch and can be used like polystyrene loose packaging. But this version is the eco-version. It’s biodegradable, odour-free and, best of all, static-free.
L’Oreal has just launched an eco-beauty range made from 93 to 100% natural ingredients, but it’s the packaging that’s brilliant. It’s made out of card and is recyclable, yet water resistant. The inner lining is made with a recyclable plastic and uses 60 percent less material than regular plastic bottles.
Leaves from the areca palm make perfect cases for soap. The leaves are moulded into the desired shape. They are so environmentallyfriendly as they use natural waste product, which is biodegradable.
Seaweed water bubbles
Made of seaweed, these bubbles are edible and the hope is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles but without the environmental impact. It’s the same product that is wrapped around our washing liquid bubbles.
With all these new and fantastic alternatives to plastic it’s now up to us as consumers to demand them, and the big companies to start playing their part in making a cleaner, healthier world for our next generations. There is just no excuse any more.
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