Plastic has been the major source of pollution for decades, making way to some plastic alternatives. Because of the cheap price and also the ease of manufacture, more people choose it daily.
But as they say, just because everyone does it does not mean it needs to be done. The evil sits so deep in the heart. We fail to see any alternatives to plastic. Just like the casual nature of human beings for everything, plastic also gets an excuse.
Despite all the harm it does, most people do not even recognize the problem. More than 8 million tons of it ends up in the ocean too. The global figures above 300 tons are also alarming.
The real trouble comes in when nature, the mother of us all, decides to give back. She decides to reply in the same way as we treat her. Because of the serious nature of those replies, the blind on everyone’s eye falls at once.
Just like a kid out of deep sleep, human beings start realizing what they have done. But is it necessary to cross the line before waking up? The easiest way out is to understand where we go wrong and also to correct it.
Not only because it is wrong but also because it threatens your life too. Use the knowledge of 1000 years for plastic to decay, to make sure you remember the enemy.
Looking for a good solution is just like every other act of self-correction. By looking for the correct alternatives to plastic, the world can slowly phase it out. Most of these alternatives are already present, waiting for your kind eyes to fall on them.
HOLDING HANDS WITH THE RIGHT CHOICES FOR REPLACEMENT
Removing plastics all of a sudden is not possible. However, the need to do so is urgent too. The main point is to consider what makes for a good replacement. Not only should it replace but also stay for a long time. Because of the growing awareness, it is becoming easier to do so. A large number of options around us are waiting for the choice.
Planning a nice list to address the issue also solves the major problem. It acts as a torch for those who want to see beyond.
The list contains many common and also uncommon choices. The choices are for you and everyone else to choose from.
1. Recyclable Paper
Paper is the age-old solution to every problem. Recycling of paper also solves the environmental problem of saving the trees. Even if it sounds tricky, it is not. Many countries use paper as one of the alternatives for plastic for eco-living. Some crucial things we can make out of it are:
- Paper cones
- Paper bags
- Folding covers
- Paper sheets
- Common envelopes
- Paper packets
It comes from natural refuse and is also an eco-friendly help. Cardboard not only finds small but large implementations as well. Because it is easily available, it also becomes convenient for use.
Large-scale use also includes boxes and packing material. Even small covers, sheets, rakes, and other elements are also easy to make out of cardboard. Under normal environment, cardboard decays in a few weeks and gives soil. Thus it is one of the reliable alternatives to plastic.
3. Banana Leaves
The outcome of a long-running tradition. Banana leaves are not only degradable, but they are also very cheap and user friendly. It takes no time at all for them to decay. They find their application in a variety of products.
- Packing for goods
- Eating plates
- Small bags
Because of their availability in certain climates, the supply is an issue. Also, fast spoiling does not help in very long-distance transport. However, the cultivation of trees can also be useful in getting good quality leaves.
The use of Jute is common in the Indian subcontinent. Not only is jute naturally available but also bio-degradable. This means that it is useful as an option for domestic plastic. It finds a convenient in the list of alternatives to plastic use. Some of the common jute products are
- Lunch bags
- Luggage bags
- Tiffin bags
- Tying ropes
Jute gets its firm and strong nature from vegetable fibers. Thus it is easily available and does not need much investment for production.
One of the common solutions. Its readily available nature is also a selling point. The main question is how to regulate the quantity of usage? Wood decomposes fast and causes no problems. It is also important to regulate the unnecessary cutting down of trees for this purpose.
Wood replaces plastic in household use. Racks, spoon, table, stands are all common and important products. The initial cost might be expensive, but the advantages are also high. Government regulations control the use of wood to the right extent.
The use of glass in household products is common. The argument of glass not being biodegradable is also correct. But the fact that a person can recycle glass for infinite uses is also important. This means that there is no reason why it cannot positively replace plastic. Glasses, cups, mugs, storage, etc. are common uses.
Dishes, storage utensils, pots, and a lot more items use ceramics. They also have a relatively low time for decomposing. They are one of the effective but little expensive alternatives to plastic.
The risk to sea life and animals is a big reason in the search for alternatives to plastic. The use of plastic straw affects a lot of sea animals, fishes, and birds. It sticks in their windpipe and also their nose. Because of this, the bamboo is an upcoming option. It replaces plastic for straws and also a few household products. Even frames and fittings also use bamboo. Hence it is a widely popular answer.
Bottle making by the use of clay is very common. To avoid the use of plastic bottles, it is an effective solution. Clay bottles are also finding fast-growing use over the world. These bottles have long-lasting results at a single investment. They are also tough because of hardening and do not break easily.
10. Mud Pottery
A delicate but effective answer to plastic usage. It includes the ability to store water and other liquids. Solid items are also easy to store. In addition to common use, mud pottery also replaces plastic in art and display products.
11. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel has a long life and is tough. It also has the benefit of being a permanent alternative. Hence it can replace plastic for plates, glass, cups, utensils, storage units, and much more. Not only does it last long, but it also provides a cheap way out.
It occurs naturally and lasts forever. Aluminum is a smart idea to replace the major use of plastics. To do so, the removal of plastic sheets, covers, stands, holders, utensils, etc. is advisable. Aluminum, just like steel, is a one-time investment with a life-long utility.
The cloth is one of the easy entries as the best alternatives to plastic. For example, the cloth can replace plastic in bags, ropes, binders, covers, and also a variety of things. It is also reusable and easy to recycle in comparison to plastic.
One of the easily available options. Coir comes from the outer husk we get from the coconut. Their application is wide. For instance, it is easily usable in foot mats, ropes, and also carpets.
Another common name in the list of effective alternatives to plastic. Cotton bags are common in big stores and also in the markets. It is also an easier option as well in comparison to others on the list. Cotton also comes in use for covers, sheets, and also as threads for stitches.
It is also usable in a variety of products. Common applications include making tents, reusable bags, luggage carriers, sails, and much more. Just like most of the other names, the canvas is also biodegradable.
17. Ramie Fiber
These are also highly efficient and strong. They exist in various forms and are usable after fabrication. Plant fibers come in a variety of forms, for example, the common use of ramie fiber. They also have large scale applications in industrial use to replace plastics. Ramie fiber is a strong and good addition to the alternatives of plastic.
18. Kenaf Fiber
The wide use of kenaf across entire Africa also makes it easily available. Kenaf is an easy fiber that has good strength too. It is good for making bags, carry-bags, rugs, ropes, covers, and much more. Because of its large scale use, it is also a good replacement for plastic.
The leather does not always need animal harm. It comes from waste animal skin as well. The fish skin that goes in large quantities is also usable for this. Even new options for bio-leather are available too. This means that friendly leather making is a process that deserves a place in the list of alternatives to plastic.
20. Bird Feathers And Chicken Feathers
The amount of keratin in the waste feathers is also pretty high. With the help of certain innovative ideas, these are helpful as a replacement for plastic. Because of the huge dumping quantity, it needs even less investment. Countries all across the world can genuinely use this too.
21. Milk-Base Natural Proteins
More than current use, it is also a future purpose idea. Research figures also show that milk protein can also be a good replacement for normal plastic. The strength and use of milk-made plastic are easier and cheaper too.
22. Polyesters From Poly-Lactic Acid
These have the property of decomposing under active conditions too. Industrial composting of around 6 weeks makes them decompose in an eco-friendly manner. These polyesters are highly useful and also strong. While they are not natural, they are still better than normal plastic. That is the reason to consider them as one of the alternatives to plastic.
Bagasse is also another naturally usable product. It uses the remains from the processing of sugarcane. Moreover, the nature of bagasse to mold into any shape means it suits the making of packing material. It can also be handy as a storage material.
Mycelium is the common word for the growing roots of mushroom. This means that it has a lot of strength and binding power too. Because of this property, mycelium is also usable as one of the alternatives to plastic.
Bio-plastics need a convenient environment for decomposing. Nonetheless, they are still a better option. They are easily available from an artificial process that includes the use of starch. This starch mainly comes from the use of sugarcane too.
It is well-known that the shells which we get from sea life also have good strength and elasticity. This means that with the help of a little innovation, they can act as a replacement too. Because they are usually a waste, so it does not include any other effect on the natural environment around.
27. Grape Skin
Because of the large consumption of wine around the world, grapes are easily available too. The leftover skin is mostly a waste and is usable as well. Research shows that this skin is usable after processing. It also provides a good source for replacing natural leather. Because of its natural existence, it is a cheap source as well.
28. Liquid Wood
Unlike the normal wood, the liquid version can mold as per need too. This means that it can replace plastic, even for tough jobs. Because of the flexible nature, it also finds a lot of applications—for example, the store cases and the packing lines too.
It is not just an imaginary concept to make a natural plastic. This is also useful in replacing regular industrial plastic. By the use of bacterial processing, it becomes easy to make these polyesters. They can shift shapes and also be useful for strong uses.
30. Pulp Bottles
Instead of normal dumping, the plastic can form plastic pulp as well. This pulp is under use by certain industries (who hold patent) for making plastic pulp bottles. Hence, they into plastic into a long recycle loop.
GIVING OUR SELVES A CHANCE TO SURVIVE
Not only do we stand a chance to survive but also for a healthy living. All we need is the careful use of resources that we have in our hands. We owe a hand of help, not only to us but the other natural beings we harm. Because of our sins from the past, the animals and natural resources suffer too. While the voiceless cannot speak against the torture, it does not justify our behavior.
The careful use of the alternatives to plastic means that humans and earth are healing. It shows that a better sense of responsibility is spreading across people. The responsibility to stay from causing further harm and taking control measures.
The duty to cover-up for the harm we cause by our intentional and also casual actions. The thought of being caring towards the problems of nature. A return gesture for all that she does and is willing to do for us too.