No doubt, plastic products cause much harm to the environment. The entire population of the world has the habit of using plastics in one way or another. Nature has blessed us with ample alternatives to plastic. Using them in today’s life is as easy and interesting as using 50 free spins in a casino game. Let us see some of the sustainable alternatives for plastic apart from conventional wood, stainless steel, and glass.
Plastic products are mostly used for food containers and packing material. An alternative is using palm leaves. Areca Catechu or Areca Palm tree leaves are used for making dishes like plates, cups, and food packing containers as an alternative to single-use plastics. Palm leaves are molded to the required shapes. They are eco-friendly and cost-effective as palm trees are available in most countries in the world. In creating and disposing of palm leaf products there will be no harm to the environment.
Bagasse is the by-product of sugarcane. The malleability and the fibrous structure are more suitable to produce a sustainable alternative to plastic since sugarcane is an easily available agricultural waste. Converting the bagasse into a pulp and molding it to the desired shape are the two steps involved in it. As sugar production and consumption are universal, they can be availed easily. Several types of culinary products like plates, dishes, straws, and packing materials can be produced from them.
Bamboo is yet another sustainable alternative to plastic. Bamboo is best suited as it has unique properties to defend against fungus and bacteria. It is biodegradable. Bamboos are fast-growing plants that grow 3 to 5 feet a year. Bamboos with their unique properties like hollow center, flexibility, and lightweight have been used for cooking for ages. We can see bamboo products like chopping boards, toothbrushes, furniture, serving trays, water bottles, and so on. These products replace plastic usage effectively. Bamboo straws gain more attraction nowadays, as they are eco-friendly and cheap.
Bioplastics made from corn starch serve as an alternative to plastic. When the corn is treated in sulfur dioxide and water at 100 degrees for a few days, and the vegetable oil present in it is separated, the pure starch is obtained that has long chains of carbon molecules that are like the carbon chain in plastics. So, from this starch biodegradable bioplastic can be manufactured.
Beeswax wraps are alternatives for regular one-time-use plastic cling wraps. These wraps are made of 100% cotton, beeswax, and plant oil, and are washable and can be reused for up to one year. It is waterproof and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can be used very well to wrap food items.
Lignin is a biopolymer, which is a by-product of paper mills and has an exact look and feel of plastics but has the advantage that it is biodegradable. Lignin and castor oil are used to make lignin plastics. It is waterproof and can be used as an alternative to plastic.
Using biodegradable products instead of plastics must become a habit among the population all over the world to maintain the world’s worth to live for future generations.