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The substitutes for plastic
No More Plastic
Without a doubt, one of the obligations of today's society is to do away with plastic, especially single-use plastic. This would already be doing a great deal as it is a material that is doing so much damage to our planet.
How to replace it? Well, it is not enough just to eliminate plastic bags from supermarkets, or straws from bars; there is much more to do, and, to many people’s surprise, there are materials that can become more than perfect substitutes for plastic.
THE 10 SUBSTITUTES FOR PLASTIC
What are known as bio-plastics are made from a range of sources such as maize, which breaks down into PLA, or polylactic acid. This is incredibly sustainable to produce, since it is made from waste products from maize production and maize is also easy to grow. PLA can be used to make drinks bottles and various containers, some of which are even food-grade.
2. Mushroom root
With mycelium or what is practically the same, fungus roots, agricultural waste is collected and mixed with mycelium in moulds, after which the container literally grows. Something that is very surprising and sustainable at the same time.
Bagasse is a by-product of sugarcane processing. Due to its malleability and stickiness, it can be easily mouldable into containers suitable for food delivery and food service - similar to polystyrene. Unlike polystyrene, this is biodegradable, and being a by-product, it is much more sustainable to produce.
4. Seaweed water bubbles
A bubble of edible water made from seaweed has been created this is, by default, biodegradable. Its aim is to provide the ease of use of plastic bottles, while limiting environmental impact at the same time. The process produces five times less CO₂ than plastic and uses nine times less energy than PET production.
5. Paper for the shower
A beauty industry giant has just launched a range of organic beauty products, Seed Phytonutrients. The products themselves sound great (made of 93-100% natural ingredients, no cruelty, no parabens, etc.), but the real innovation is in the packaging. Manufactured by Ecologic, the outer carton is recycled, recyclable, compostable, without glue and waterproof. The inner lining is made of recyclable plastic and uses 60% less material than normal plastic bottles.
6. Stone and plastic paper
You will be surprised to know that paper can be made of stone. Of course it can. This incredible innovation has several possible packaging applications. It can be used as an alternative to paper or plastic, and it is printable, recyclable and waterproof, so its ecological credentials are also pretty good. It is made of calcium carbonate, which is one of the most abundant resources on Earth and its production process uses less water, has a lower carbon footprint and is more energy efficient than regular paper production.
7. Corn starch and Sorghum loose fill
EcoFlo loose filler is made from corn starch and can be used in the same way as regular polystyrene loose filler. This ecological version—which can also be made from a crop similar to corn called sorghum—is biodegradable and odour-free.
8. Edible six pack ring
In the US, they have developed a material for the rings of six packs of beers, which is not only biodegradable, but also edible. Made from traces of barley and wheat that are a by-product of the brewing process, it is a way to eliminate one of the most harmful products in our oceans.
9. Wood pulp cellophane
NatureFlex is the sustainable younger brother of cellophane, which is made of FSC-certified wood pulp and is biodegradable. It comes uncoated, which is perfect for chocolate and confectionery, as well as for household items. It is also semi-permeable, so it can be used for fresh ingredients and dairy products for baking, snacks, coffee, tea, chocolate and confectionery as well as personal and household care items.Read more Close