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List of Eco-friendly Alternatives to Plastic Packaging

Plastic is one of the biggest epidemics we have faced for the past century. With such aggressive use of plastics, we failed to recognize the impact it was leaving on our environment.

More than 80 tons of plastic end up in landfills and oceans all around the world which has warned us to stop the use of plastics. In this war against plastics, efforts are being made all around the world to switch to more eco-friendly and degradable products. Some of the best options are listed below for you to join this war.

1. Glass

Glass is the material of history. Remember that time when your milkman used to deliver milk to your house in glass bottles. Well, history is going to repeat itself.

Glass has numerous benefits over plastics, the best one is that it is free from harmful chemicals and can be heated without releasing any toxins into the food.

Its durability is exceptional unless it breaks. It is the best alternative to plastic bottles used for water, soda, and milk. Glass is one of the most easily reusable and recyclable products. The best part is that it is made from sand! So instead of it ending up in oceans, we can recycle it.

2. Beeswax wrap

Food packaging was nearly impossible without bubble wraps and cling wraps a few years ago. These single used plastics eventually produce around 1/10th of the total plastics wraps.

But with the production of beeswax paper, this use is minimized to almost a suboptimal level.

Beeswax wrap is made of cotton fabric which is coated with food-grade wax and oils making it 100 percent edible and food safe.

Beeswax is biodegradable, reusable with a longer shelf life that can be used to store all types of fruits, vegetables, baked products, and many other things.

Furthermore, for aesthetics-loving people, it comes in great designs and DIY projects.

3. Air Pillows

A great cost-effective alternative to bubble wraps and styrofoam is inflatable air pillows that are made of high-density polyethylene.

Polyethylene is a biodegradable substance that is molded into air pillows, which are small bags filled with air. They aid in light weight shipping, reducing the costs and reusability which is ideal for plastic alternatives.

4. Organic Shopping Bags

In the packaging areas, plastic shopping bags are on the top. Every time you go shopping, you end up getting a dozen plastic bags.

It’s time to stop this practice and switch to better organic cotton bags, which are either nylon or fiber made.

They decompose in 5 months and the best part is no extra drawer is needed to put all the bags that get accumulated!

5. Biodegradable Plastics

We have incorporated plastics into our lives to such an extent that it is nearly impossible to work without them nowadays.

Even though eco-friendly alternatives are being dug out, biodegradable plastics are also a good option to fall onto.

Biodegradable Plastics are a combination of renewable raw materials, microorganisms, and petrochemicals.

These are degraded under controlled settings which elevates a fraction of the burden caused by actual plastics.

They are being used today in many disposable items, packaging bags, cutlery.

6. Silicone Storage bags

Ziplock bags have been used for packaging for a long time now. Since its use is inevitable, switching to a healthy option is always a safer path and the best one is silicone bags!

Instead of the single-use of plastic Ziplock, silicone has provided many benefits.

It is highly resistant to extreme temperatures, does not affect the food quality, is toxin-free, odorless, lightweight, has long durability, and is RECYCLABLE!

Where else can we find another alternative like this?!

7. Milk Protein Packaging

An astonishing alternative to plastic packaging is milk protein-based packaging. It is a perfect replacement for polystyrene, which is used in furniture cushions, insulation, packaging, and many other products.

Casein-based packaging has been there since the 1880s but more inclination towards this in the modern day is due to its biodegradable qualities and water solubility at low temperatures. Even if it ends up being dumped in oceans and landfills, it could be a source of food for wildlife in oceans. Thus, it proves to be beneficial in all aspects.

8. Liquid Wood

Have you ever heard of converting wood into plastic before? It may have not been possible before but it is being considered today as an alternative to plastic packaging.

This special type is made from the by-products of the paper mill industry. The extract of pulp that is left behind, called pulp, is mixed with water and then heated at high temperatures.

It is then molded at high pressure into different shapes, producing a special bio-plastic called arboform. This is used in the manufacturing of many items like toys, golf tees, and even bodies of many machines like hi-fi speakers, etc.

9. Cardboard and Paper

Although cardboard and paper are a product of eco-destruction, if used and recycled with sustainable approaches, they are one of the best alternatives to plastic packaging.

It is a 100 percent recyclable product that leaves the least harmful impact on the environment. It requires fewer resources than others to be recycled, i.e 90% less water and 50% less electricity.

Also, recycled cardboard retains its strength and durability which makes it ideal for packaging heavy products and overseas shipping because it does not deteriorate easily.

10. Cornstarch Packaging

A new and better innovation in eco-friendly packaging is Cornstarch Packaging. It is a perfect alternative to Styrofoam.

Cornstarch is an organic material made from corn and maize plants having many plastic-like qualities which makes it ideal for packaging.

Currently, it is used in the food industry to pack food due to its 100% safety, resistance to fats and oils acts as a barrier to aromas, and does not need any coating or chemicals for preservation. 

Using all these alternatives can keep our earth safe.  You can also use any alternative to promote an eco-friendly use of stuff. It will keep you and the environment safe.