Top 13 Eco-friendly Alternatives to Plastic

Plastic is ubiquitous. From a toothbrush to our carry bags, every single item contains plastic. As the conditions around global warming continue to get worse, people are becoming mindful of their choices that would affect the environment. They are aware of the damage plastic can do to the Earth. And that is why consumers are now opting for an eco friendly substitute for plastic as they are becoming more aware of its detrimental qualities and the impact it has on human life as well as the environment. Although we cannot undo the damage of a thousand years in a year or two, what we can do is try to make amendments by using eco friendly alternatives to everyday items.

How should we switch to sustainable alternatives to plastic?

It could be crushing when you start noticing how many plastic items we use daily. And even more daunting when you realize how much these plastic items harm our environment. But wait, you do not need to panic about it. We are not asking you to get rid of everything plastic at your home. You can start simply start including eco-friendly products and adapt them gradually into your lifestyle. Having a sustainable lifestyle is not a matter of few days, it is a commitment that you need to make to yourself and to our environment. There are multiple eco friendly alternatives to plastic that you can incorporate into everyday use. Here are our top 13 eco friendly alternatives to plastic:

1. Bamboo

Corner Art Store - Bamboo Planter Round Shape

No, we are not asking you to become a panda. But you will be surprised at the range of eco-friendly products that can be made from bamboo. You can choose from cutlery, tissues, stationery, serving trays, fitness towels, straws, planters, and so much more! Unlike trees, bamboo forests can revive themselves in 3 to 5 Years and flourish without the using pesticides. It has countless innate properties like being antibacterial, extremely strong and adept of filtering air and water. Bamboos are biodegradable, easy to grow, and long-lasting which makes them an ideal choice for you and the planet.

2. Upcycled Tyre

Earthy Zest - Roll Down Laptop Bag, Upcycled from Tyres, Seat Covers & Polyster

Since 2010 the automotive industry has grown at a staggering rate of 15 percent, which has led to parts of automobiles such as tyres being produced at a large scale. Gratefully, for the most part, rubber is fashioned and produced with the intention of conserving the environment. Instead of discarding used tyres as waste after they wear out, they are upcycled into eco-friendly products. You can buy wallets, rubber planters, laptop bags, handcrafted armchairs, etc. made from recycled or upcycled tyres.

3. Coconut

Thenga - Coconut Bowl with Spoon

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated the 2013 world production of coconut at 62 million metric tons. Most of which is either dumped or burned. Fortunately, coconut can be easily recycled and is by far the most versatile eco friendly substitute for plastic. Almost all the parts of a coconut can be reused, which means that there is little to no wastage. It is used to make combs, cutlery, candle shells, bowls, cups, and so on. Additionally, they also make great eco-friendly gift hampers.

4. Glass

Loopify - Upcycled Bottle Decor - Blue

Studies show that glass manufactured from recycled glass diminishes related air pollution by 20% and associated water pollution by 50% Instead of using plastic bottles and containers, a simple switch to using glass can make a huge difference. Glass containers are safer to store and no toxic chemicals can contaminate your food unlike plastic. Glass products seem elegant and sophisticated and thus also make great eco-friendly corporate gifts.

5. Cow Dung

Gaukriti - Diary: Set Of 3, Made from Cow Dung

Relax, it is not gross. You would not know if something is made of cow dung unless someone mentions it to you. We all know that Cow manure is rich in minerals, especcally nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It is an advantageous eco friendly alternative to plastic because they are formed naturally and is easily decomposable. You can find some earthy and quaint cow dung products such as bangle boxes, utility trays, carry bags, gift boxes, etc. on Loopify.

Also Read: Top 13 Eco-friendly Alternatives to Plastic

6. Tree Free Paper

Bluecat Paper - Handmade Designer Calendar 2021 – Tree-free, Made from White Cotton Rag Paper

Tree free paper is generally made from farming waste of lemongrass, sugarcane, white cotton rag, etc. The advantage of using tree free paper is that the plant resource grows rapidly and does not hamper the natural ecosystem. There are a variety of tree free products such as art books, greeting cards, gift bags, desk calendars, handmade papers, etc. A lot of Loopify’s tree free products are plantable - meaning that you can sow them into the soil once they are of no use to you, and watch them turn into beautiful plants.

7. Upcycled Fabric

ScrapYard - Mini Denim Multi Functional Baskets - Set of 3, Made from Upcycled Denim

Upcycling is reusing the same fabric and creating something entirely different. With fast fashion, there are a lot of cloths that are dumped as waste. Small piece of tablecloths, and rags clog our ocean and landfills once they are torn and dumped. Chic and stylish products such as masks, cushion covers, aprons, rakhis, fabric lanterns, bags, baskets, etc. can be crafted by upcycling fabrics.

8. Jute

Aksobha - Jute Planters - Set of 3

A lot of people know that cotton is an eco friendly fiber, but another very popular eco friendly substitute for plastic is jute. And it beats cotton! A hectare of jute plants consumes about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide and releases 11 tonnes of oxygen. Additionally, it grows without any usage of insecticides and pesticides which helps in preventing damage to the environment. It is known for its tensile strength, durability and affordability. Additionally, jute is completely biodegradable, recyclable and sustainable. Some popular jute products include sling bags, table runners, gift envelopes, pouches, notebooks, and more.

9. Cork

Svech - Yoga Mat Bag - Cork

Cork is yet another material that is biodegradable and recyclable. If you need a reason to buy cork products, here is one: once the cork is stripped from the tree’s bark, it absorbs 3-5x more CO2 than usual and leaves us to breathe cleaner! We cannot think of a better reason to shift to cork products. You can find an innovative collection of cork products such as wallets, passport holders, yoga mats, etc. Moreover, cork oak forests are some of the most bio-diverse settings on earth. Rare species such as the Iberian Imperial Eagle, Iberian Lynx and the Barbary Deer are all reliant on the ecology made possible by cork oaks.

Also Read: Sustainable Living: The benefits of going eco-friendly

10. Wheat Straw

AGreenCo - 100% Natural Wheat Straw Case - iPhone 11 (2019), Mint Green

Wheat is one of the largest crops harvested in India. And we cannot even imagine the waste generated. For those of you who do not know, wheat straw is the left-over stalk after wheat grains are harvested and is possibly one of the most accessible sustainable alternatives to plastic. And if you are wondering what can be possibly made out of it, Loopify has the most stunning, 100% biodegradable, and compostable wheat straw products such as eco-friendly phone covers.

11. Upcycled Plastic

ReCharkha-The EcoSocial Tribe - Handwoven Potli Purse, Made from Upcycled Plastic, Multi Colour

In 2018, 359 million tonnes of plastic were produced, of which 119 million tonnes were single-use packaging plastic, and only a meagre 10% of the total production was recycled. From a very young age we are taught why plastic is bad for our health and our environment. And yet, to make things worse for the environment, the demand for plastic increased in 2019 by up to 3.5%. One of the best ways to lower plastic demands is to upcycle excess plastic products. A Loopify, you can find numerous upcycled plastic products such as jewelry, bags, etc. that are ideal for everyday use too!

12. Recycled Paper

Pepaa - Handmade Notebook (Pack of 5), Made from Recycled Paper

Increasing use of paper is one of the biggest reasons for deforestation. We use them every single day in our routine. But why do we need to produce more paper when we can easily make new paper from old paper? Reusing post-consumer resources is one of the best ways to diminish the environmental impact of tree felling. For instance, recycled paper is turned into various eco-friendly products such as new handmade papers, gift wrapping paper, and paper towel rolls. Cardboard boxes are reused and crafted into paper bags, packaging products, and more new cardboard boxes.

13. Upcycled PET

AstuEco - Tote Scarf - Barasingha And Forest Splendor- 2 in 1 design, Made from Recycled PET

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the chemical name for polyester. PET is nothing but a clear, strong, and lightweight plastic that is widely used for applications ranging from packaging, fabrics, films to molded parts for automotive, electronics, and many more. Polyethylene offers the returns of being one hundred percent recyclable and carbon positive. Once the PET product is worn out or is of no more use, it is upcycled to make eco friendly alternatives to everyday items such as coasters, tote bags, pouches, etc. By switching to this biodegradable material and packaging, businesses can help lessen greenhouse gasses by up to 35%.

There are a lot of options available for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. By making small changes in our lifestyle, we can make significant impact on the environment. The aforementioned materials are great eco-friendly substitute for plastic that offer durable and high quality products. It is fairly easy to start your green journey with small steps, one at a time.

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