It’s being drilled into us. For the survival of our planet, we need to reduce our environmental impact. And the great thing is, many of us are making huge changes in our lives for the greater good.
As consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious businesses have little choice but to rethink the way they create and ship their products. Plastic has been the standard for packaging for over half a decade, but now businesses are seeing an opportunity to fly their green flag by ditching plastic and embracing earth-friendly alternatives.
Here are 5 of the best…
1. Corn Plastic
Nachos, popcorn, whiskey… plastic?!
As well as being in nearly everything we eat, corn is being used in its packaging too. Corn plastic is made from polylactic acid, which is derived from the sugars in corn starch. It’s durable and looks like regular plastic, except its biodegradable, carbon-neutral and edible. It probably doesn’t taste as good as nachos though.
2. Glass and Paper
The best things always make a comeback.
Before plastic took over as consumer packaging number one, glass and paper were used everywhere. And now that plastic has become synonymous with evil, businesses are returning to good ole’ fashioned glass and paper.
Both glass and paper can be recycled over and over again and are cheap.
3. Mushroom Packaging
Yep, there’s even packaging made from mushrooms.
To be exact, agricultural waste is fused together by mycelium, an adhesive-like matrix of cells found in mushrooms. The fully-compostable material can be formed and dried into any shape and the result is similar to styrofoam.
IKEA is the biggest brand to embrace the magic of mushrooms in their packaging with other corporations sure to follow suit.
4. Seaweed Packaging
Biodegradable and you can eat it!
Several companies are testing seaweed as a base of plastic-like packaging that’s not only biodegradable but edible too. Seaweed can be turned into ‘plastic’ without the need for any chemicals, and what’s more, it’s full of fibre and nutrients. The ultimate in sustainability.
The obvious opportunity for edible packaging is the food industry where seaweed is being trialled to create cups, straws and packaging for sandwiches and other snacks.
British start-up Ooho made a splash at the 2019 London Marathon by trialling their edible water capsules made from seaweed – the plastic bottle alternatives were handed out to over 30,000 runners.
The biodegradable ‘water ball’ can be consumed whole or bitten into to release the liquid. It even has a peelable outer layer to keep the inside free from germs.
5. Organic Fabrics
Ditch the plastic bag.
As individuals and businesses move away from plastic bags, we are turning to eco-friendly solutions made from organic fabrics. There’s a myriad of options too; hemp, tapioca, recycled cotton, palm leaves and many more. These bags can be reused again and again and IF you throw them away, they biodegrade in about 100 days – not the 10,000 that it takes plastic.
It’s great individuals and businesses are getting so creative in the fight against plastic, and not just for their benefit,
but for the future of our planet.
If you’d like to find out how you or your business can benefit from more sustainable packaging, contact us today.