While researching on packaging (and after getting a bit depressed about the complicated topic of biodegradable plastic), I also found some interesting future materials which could replace at least some of the plastic wrapping.
“Redesigning plastic products to be valuable and sustainable is our biggest leap toward prevention”, in an article on Youris, Katie Allen, the education director of the NGO Algalita, advocates prevention and treatment measures, “when designed in cradle-to-cradle systems, plastic products have a much better chance of being recovered and recycled. Also, better product design may ease many of the challenges plastic recyclers face.” Alternatively, packaging companies and researchers have developed a lot of ideas and potentials which could replace plastic in the long run.
You better watch out for:
1) Mushroom instead of Styrofoam:
Even though Styrofoam is not plastic, it still falls into the same category and is as dangerous for the marine environment as plastic. The US American company Ecovative developed an innovative approach made from organic waste and mushroom. It´s 100 % biodegradable.
2) Edible lactic proteins instead of plastic:
3) Algaes instead of packaging:
The invention of the British Start-up Ohoo might revolutionize liquid packaging. The packages are made of seaweed, are 100% biodegradable and edible. A skinlike protection covers the liquid, comparable with the skin of a berry. A liquid can be bought in small portions like fresh fruits and could replace the production of billions of water bottles. The production is simple and costs only about a cent/ piece.
4) Seaweed packaging:
The Indonesian company Evoware.id does something similar, and that the company comes from the country which is the second largest ocean polluter in the world, is quite interesting:
These are just 4 of lots of interesting approaches and ideas which clearly show that there CAN be more and better alternatives for plastic.