In the USA, 30 million tons of plastic scrap is produced. According to the EPA, only 7% was recycled. The rest either goes into landfills, the ocean, or become litter in the streets and parks. Did you know that plastics buried in landfills sometimes take 1000 years to decompose? Yikes!
The good news is, many large companies and corporations are realizing this and are taking steps to save the planet from the evil villain, plastic. Some examples include:
- Coca-cola introduced the “plant bottle” which is made from 30% biodegradable plant-based materials.
- Pepsi, in response to Coca-cola’s invention, introduced a 100% biodegradable bottle.
- Gillette, a razor company by Proctor and Gamble, introduced a new packaging technology which reduces its plastic usage by 79% which maintaining its high-class look and feel.
While water bottles by Nestle are becoming thinner and thinner (almost to the point where it’ll bend if you apply just small amounts of pressure), there are many cool innovative materials out there which are rarely spoken of.
Did you know that most of the packaging for Dell computers are made from Bamboo? Say bye-bye to Styrofoam (styrofoam is actually plastic based packaging material made from PS, polystyrene) and hello to bamboo! Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plant fibers, up to 24″ per day, that is not only suitable for packaging, it can also be made into comfortable clothing!
Ecocradle is another packaging material made from mushrooms. The amazing thing is, it takes less than a week to grow and it doesn’t require watering, chemicals, and is completely safe and eco-friendly.
Another replacement for styrofoam is cornstarch, which is 100% bio-degradable and can be composted.
It’s always fun writing about new technological improvements in packaging and healthy replacements for plastics. While I do not think plastic can be completely replaced anytime soon, many alternatives are appearing in the market today. Let’s keep up the good work and I look forward to writing about new developments in 2012.