Do you possess a bad plastic habit? From the plastic packaging in your products to the various items around your house, you likely consume an ample amount of plastic every day. Despite its prevalence, plastic is a horrific packaging material for the environment.
While some plastic can be recycled, different types of plastic cannot be recycled together. As a result, plastic must be separated into unique categories before disposal. At the same time, it can be difficult and time-consuming to decipher what can or cannot be recycled. Typically, things like foam cups and takeaway containers cannot be recycled, which means they head straight into the landfill.
Nowadays, many consumers are realising the ecological consequences of using too much plastic. There is a rapidly growing demand in the market for more eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Businesses are following this trend and have invested heavily in eco packaging. Check out these seven eco-friendly packaging alternatives to plastic:
1. Glass packaging
Glass is perhaps one of the best materials to use for packaging because it can be recycled multiple times. Plus, it is an inexpensive material to recycle. You do not need to wait for businesses to offer glass as a packaging item. You can begin yourself. For example, if you’re heading to a bulk store, you can repurpose your pickle or peanut butter jar and use it to buy your snacks.
2. Paper packaging
Paper is a great material to use in packaging because it can be composted. In fact, going back to the times before plastic, a lot of companies manufactured and packaged their goods with paper. Keep in mind that paper cannot be infinitely recycled because its fibers are shortened every time the material is reused. Nonetheless, it is an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging.
3. Mushroom packaging
Companies are transitioning away from Styrofoam packaging gradually. What are they using instead? Although it is not prevalent right now, mushroom packaging may become the norm in the future. Grown on a hemp-flour mixture, mushroom packaging combines agricultural waste and mycelium root together. It is dried to limit the growth process and is then consumed to replace Styrofoam packaging.
4. Platinum silicone packaging
Platinum silicone might sound too technical, expensive, and not environmentally friendly. Surprisingly, platinum silicone with plastic fillers is a good ecofriendly alternative because it is mostly produced with sand. As a packaging material, platinum silicone is both flexible and durable, allowing you to use it for multiple purposes.
5. Bamboo packaging
While bamboo may not seem conventional, this material contains many properties that make it ideal for packaging products. Bamboo packaging is compostable, lightweight, and durable, plus it can also be used for items like tableware. In recent years, bamboo is becoming one of the most popular renewable packaging substitutes on the market.
6. Beeswax-coated cloth packaging
Is Beeswax-based cloth durable? Eco-friendly organisations say that a lot of businesses use it as a replacement for both plastic bags and plastic wrap. Moreover, this type of packaging can be repurposed since it is easy to clean and comes with a great smell.
7. Other ecofriendly alternatives
Do we need to change how we package our products? Or do we need to shift away from single-use products? This is the conundrum we face, particularly as plastics continue to impact the planet, from plastic bags to plastic packaging.
Each year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are used around the world. This is triggering a domino effect that affects nature and humans. For example, 90% of birds and fish are estimated to have plastic particles in their stomach, since plastic breaks up into tiny pieces in the sea. These particles are then eaten by fish and other sea animals. If you eat fish, you are potentially eating a toxic one.
What can be done about this? Experts say that in addition to using alternatives to plastic, you can change your habits altogether. Some ideas include using plastic-free beverage containers, utilising a reusable shopping bag, and switching to non-liquid soaps (bar soaps and washing machine powders). Collectively, these small gestures can make a big difference in preserving our environment.