International Plastic Bag Free Day is celebrated globally on July 3rd every year and is a day that millions of people come together to think about how they can eliminate and reduce plastic in the world.
According to Zero Waste Europe, more than 95.5 billion carrier bags are used per year and over 92% of these are from European countries. Aside from single-use carrier bags, plastic is found in products that we use every single day so we're looking at the clever and innovative things people are doing to replace and eliminate this. Bye bye plastic!
1. Plant based plastic
Plant based plastic is a strong alternative to using the pollutant plastic that is currently found in single-use carrier bags and many other products containing plastic.
It is mostly sourced from agricultural scraps like corn, sugarcane, wheat or food waste. Most plant-based plastics are biodegradable making it an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative choice.
Not only is it sourced from plants but the waste of the material is able to be totally decomposed by bacterial organisms — a truly circular system.
However, like with most things, there is a catch! Some products only require a certain amount of the plastic to be from renewable and organic materials in order to be labelled 'plant-based' so be sure to do your research and read the fine print properly when buying any products made from plant-based plastic.
2. Seaweed water bubbles - Ooho.
Plastic water bottles are officially on their way out... say hello to edible water bottles!
Ooho is an edible, tasteless and biodegradable membrane made from seaweed that can be used to contain water and other liquids in a 'bubble'. The bubble membrane is impermeable and acts as a barrier similar to plastic (minus the ever lasting carbon footprint!)
These edible bubbles are made of algae and calcium chloride costing pennies per unit to make, making them a truly sustainable solution to the plastic pollution caused by single-use water bottles.
Water bubbles made of this material were even handed out in the London 2019 half marathon so runners could hydrate without the huge amount of plastic water bottle waste.
We think they're definitely a plastic replacing alternative to look out for in the plastic-free future that is slowly, but surely, on its way!
3. Edible six pack rings
Saltwater Brewery have created an edible six pack ring to help eradicate the many tens of thousands deaths caused by ‘the plastic hanging’ of our precious marine life which can be an awful prolonged death by strangulation. Marine life also get tangled in the plastic and can often live for months carrying this plastic on body parts or even inside their bodies.
The six pack ring is made of edible barley and wheat ribbon which is a byproduct of the brewing process meaning nothing goes to waste! Many lives would also be saved if the encounter of the marine life was with this amazing new material and idea — a win win all round.
Let’s hope more companies follow suit!
4. Mushroom root
Mushroom root is the new wonder kid on the block. Not only can it produce a very good replacement plastic, it has also been used in developing a way to decompose and destroy plastic that has already been made — totally coming to annihilate and replace the enemy, with good.
As well as replacing our enemy plastic, certain mushrooms are now being farmed to develop a replacement material which is similar to animal leather and a replacement dining steak, which is reported to be a most tastiest, enjoyable steak! This replacing of animal leather and steak, would help the environment by further reducing the gases which animals reared for farming produce.
The technology uses the mushroom part called mycelium. This is mushroom root derivative and is becoming a very fast moving contender in the plant based consumer market.
Go mushrooms! 👏🏽
5. Instant dissolving poly-bag
The Item Bag 2.0 is a biodegradable, non-toxic storage bag that dissolves in boiling water in just seconds. You can use it to store any item that normally goes in a poly bag, minus the traditional plastic. It's the poly bag but upgraded.
These bags are 100% non-toxic and carbon negative. They also dissolve in fresh or salt water in just seconds, leaving no micro-plastics behind.
The fact that they dissolve in water makes these bags a great choice for those of us that live in apartments where space is tight and communal facilities are limited, making composting impossible! They're also a great choice for companies to ship their products out in — we can't wait to start using these bad boys!
Our period pants could be a great solution to reduce your plastic waste
Up to 90% of a pad is made using plastic making a pack of pads equivalent to 5 plastic bags. Tampons also contain plastics, and there's even plastics present in the strings!
As pads and tampons are single-use items, when they're used and disposed of, they end up in our landfill and oceans and up to 200kg of disposable menstrual products are thrown away by one person in their life time. The IES estimates that over 4 million disposable pads, tampons and pantyliners are flushed down the toilet every day.
One pair of our reusable and washable period underwear replaces at least 200 disposables. This means that by switching to FLUX Undies, you'll be reducing your carbon footprint by up to 99.5%, saving money every month and also saving Mother Earth from more plastic — win win!
Shop all leak-proof period pants here