There are so many Plastic-free alternatives these days, then why is plastic consumption increasing?!
It blows my mind. These kick-ass innovators are rocking our world with these innovations, but still whenever I buy organic (!) vegetables at the grocery store the they’re individually wrapped in plastic.
A couple of years ago berries in the Netherlands were packaged in cute little cardboard boxes, and now they’re all packaged in plastic. Why? How? When did that happen?
How is it possible that we constantly hear about the changing climate, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, and whales being sliced open only to find tons of plastic bags in their intestines that plastic consumption is increasing?
It feels as though I hear about new packaging innovations that are plastic-free all of the time. There are plastic-alternatives made from agar, orange peel, seaweed and mushrooms.
The big question is: why do we still use the amount of plastics that we do?
You guessed it: money. We have all of the processes in place to make cheap plastics, the whole production-chain of plastics is solid. Plastics are light and thus take up less weight with shipping. The plastic manufacturers like it just the way it is.
If a business were to incorporate plastic-free alternative packaging… they have to do a whole lot more work for a whole lot more money than if they would just use plastic.
Not very appealing for businesses.
It’s difficult for businesses to go against the current of plastics all over. It might be scary for the small business; prices will be higher than products with plastic packaging. Does the consumer care enough to opt for the more expensive, though earth friendly material?
As we discussed in the podcast with Chantal Plamondon there are some plastics used because it’s the only way to store liquids air-tight besides glass.
So, when it comes to liquids plastics are the norm. As a consumer you can try to avoid liquids or buy refillable laundry detergent for example. I make my own household cleaner out of vinegar and lemon peels.
Now let’s look at some of those kick-butt plastic-free alternatives that I hope will take the world by storm!
You and me, let’s make it happen. Let’s spread the word and make it appealing for businesses to choose the plastic-free packaging alternatives.
Here are a few plastic-free innovation examples:
Plastic-free water bottles
This is innovation is a bubble made out of algae that contains water. You just swallow the thing whole and you’ll be hydrated. Wow!
Orange Peel packaging
The brand Tipa (also the Green Hero of this week!) created plastic packaging made from orange peels, and the packaging is clear. It looks just like plastic.
Cardboard Packing Material
Packing peanuts are harmful, bubble-wrap is made from plastics and styrofoam is toxic. But bubble wrap can actually be replaced with this 3-D printed cardboard material.
Good ol’ fashion glass jars are great. Ok, they’re not necessarily an innovation but we need to keep using this golden oldie. The great thing about a lot of them is that you can reuse them as Tupperware, that’s what I do. Here are some great ways to reuse that glass jar.
There are many more plastic-innovations being produced probably as we speak, they’re innovative, practical and could easily replace plastics. Now let’s set out and use them.
Do your part, at the very least you can share this article and spread the love.
What other things can you think of doing to promote the use of plastic-free packaging?
What will it take for big corporations to start adapting to new ways of packaging that don’t contain plastics?
It’s probably a question of smaller businesses doing this first, it being a success, and the bigger guys following suit.
It’s important to be a conscious consumer, but we need more, we need to form groups and as a front talk to these bigger businesses that have money and see if they can be nudged to make changes. Any changes towards our common goal.
Are you with me?
At the very least please share this article.