Plastic is everywhere you look, from the very bags you carry your shopping in, to the beads inside your facial scrubs. It has become such a problem in the world that many are now seeking eco-friendly alternatives to the usual plastic that are in everyday use.
The oceans are becoming clogged with deadly plastics causing much of the marine life to suffer, it is clogging up landfill sites where it can take 100’s of years to break down and it is covering the very landscape that we live in. So what alternatives are there to plastic that are good for the environment and your life? This article is going to run through some of the best alternatives around.
Plastic bottles: Once upon a time the milkman used to deliver the milk in glass bottles, every morning you could hear the clinking of the bottles on his milk float. Nowadays everything comes in plastic bottles which are bad for both the environment and your health. Glass is made from sand which is a renewable and clean source that does not rely on fossil fuels and does not contain chemicals that can leech into your food or body. It is also easily recycled making it an ideal replacement for plastic bottles and cartons.
PLA polyesters: This amazing plastic substitute is made from a byproduct of lactic acid which is collected during the wet milling of corn and then undergoes fermentation. The resulting plastic alternative is as durable as traditional plastic yet completely biodegrades in 47 days in an industrial composting site. PLA is already blended with some plastics to help the degrade easier, and now it is coming into its own with pure PLA polyester bags, containers, and packaging.
Hemp plastic: Hemp plastic is a bioplastic produced from industrial hemp.You can find a variety of hemp based plastics in the market which are beneficial to the environment. Industrial hemp is one of the strongest fibers known to man and is 2.5 times stronger and firmer than traditional plastic. It can be found in bags, car parts, and even cosmetics.
Bioplastics: There are a whole host of bioplastics in the world that could easily replace traditional polymer plastics with ease. Made from materials such as vegetable oils, cornstarch, seaweed, and microbiota, these bioplastics save on the damage caused to the environment and are designed to biodegrade rapidly. While there is the potential for more fossil fuels to be consumed in the process of producing bioplastics, in the long-term it works out as beneficial as the plastics do not last for centuries.
Paper: If the paper is collected and produced from sustainable forests, then it makes an ideal alternative to plastic. Many stores around the world are switching to recycled paper bags in place of plastic ones. Paper can be recycled and has many uses in both home and industrial settings that prove to be a safer and cleaner alternative to traditional plastics.
Organic materials: As noted earlier, there are many facial scrubs and cleansers that contain microbeads of polymer plastic. These beads are washed into rivers and oceans where they are then consumed by fish and other sea animals. These beads contain toxins that enter the anima’s blood stream and is then eaten by humans. This cycle can cause a build up of toxic poisons and lead to poor health. The microbeads can be replaced with a fine sand, sugar, salt or coconut wood exfoliant that is safe to the environment and for your skin.
While this list is not exhasutive by any means, it aims to highlight that there are alternatives to plastic in the world and that it is easier to do your bit for the environment than you think. With a little time and effort you can find a safe alternative that fits into your lifestyle with ease.