One of the most environmentally friendly ways to reduce the use of plastic is through biodegradable or compostable products. The distinguishing factor being that biodegradability consists of natural materials breaking down, whereas compostable items are a form of biodegradability that transforms organic waste which is more beneficial for the environment. In an effort to spread awareness, here are ten items that can help you avoid the use of plastic. (Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of these companies to endorse these products).
- Sandals made from algae
Scientists in California have manipulated natural organisms such as algae to create environmentally friendly footwear. Items such as sandals often wash up on coastlines and are mostly made of plastic and rubber which can damage the environment. This new alternative is one small step to helping the planet.
2. Banana leaf packaging
Supermarkets in Asia have started using banana leaves for packaging. This helps reduce plastic packaging and minimise the chances of plastic waste.
3. Plastic made from cactus
Mexican researcher, Sandra Pascoe Ortiz, has figured out a way to create plastic made from material extracted from cactus. Serving to be much more biodegradable than everyday plastic, it can degrade in just one month and only takes several days in water. Therefore, some useful items can retain the same durability as plastic without the negative consequences of damaging the environment.
4. Paper straws
Some businesses already use these and they are a great way to prevent using plastic by switching to a more biodegradable alternative.
5. Sea sponge
A shower sponge made from natural materials, making it biodegradable and environmentally friendly. A great alternative than sponges which use synthetic fibres and create more waste which damages the environment.
6. Ayate washcloth
A multi-purpose washcloth made from the agave plant which are easy drying. Another great alternative to washcloths made from synthetic fibres.
7. Compostable food packaging and cutlery
As people are slowly realising the harmful products which most people use everyday, a transition is emerging where more and more items are becoming biodegradable or compostable. Online you will find many items such as food packaging, cutlery and cups which are compostable and thus a healthy alternative to regular plastic items.
8. Compostable clear gloves
Clear gloves useful for many messy situations such as cooking or for those working in health care. Again, a healthy alternative to plastic gloves which are frequently used but damage the environment.
9. Biodegradable tampons
Specifically for the women (or men that want to buy their significant other a slightly weird gift) biodegradable tampons can be purchased online to help reduce the amount of plastic waste produced.
10. Bamboo products
Products made from bamboo such as sunglasses, toothbrushes and clothes can be found either online or in the shopping mall. This is a great way to avoid synthetic plastics and harmful waste by switching to a more environmentally friendly solution.