Alternatives to traditional plastic
Are there any alternatives to traditional plastic?
Some push on the spread of bioplastics. What are bioplastics? According to Assobioplastica are those materials, both from renewable and fossil sources, which have the characteristic of being biodegradable and compostable. To be marketed as “biodegradable and compostable”, such a material must be at least 90% biodegradable in a maximum of 6 months; therefore it must be converted into carbon dioxide, water and biomass.
There are also bio-based bioplastics that are not biodegradable: for example the PlantBottle of Coca-Cola, in 100% recyclable raw material PET: it is a non-biodegradable bottle, only that it comes from the processing waste of sugar cane and not from oil.
What makes a biodegradable material is not so much the raw material of which it is made but its chemical structure.
Then there are bio-based and biodegradable bioplastics, such as bottles made with polylactic acid (PLA), a polyester created from natural monomers (lactic acid extracted from potatoes, tapioca, wheat, etc.) which can replace PP, PET and the PS.
For complete degradation it requires an industrial composting plant: these biodegradable and compostable bioplastics go in the wet.
Finally, there are biodegradable and edible bioplastics, usually created with seaweed extracts (see interesting video on the website of the English startup of sustainable packaging Notpla).
Pending a global spread of plastics of the latter type, however, we could do as in other countries where they apply the DRS (deposit-refund system). The citizen who buys a plastic bottle pays a surcharge which is reimbursed when he returns the vacuum, which can also be given on automatic binders.
Going back to the theme of packaging, the advice is to try to buy only the contents of the packaging, and not its container.
How to do it? It is not always possible, but some suggestions are:
– electric or non-disposable razor,
– make sparkling water at home with the CO2 dispenser instead of plastic bottles
– bulk detergents filling our containers
– use the short supply chain instead of large-scale distribution whenever possible: buying vegetables on the market from the local producer or directly from the farmer certainly avoids plastic packaging
give preference to other food packaging systems, such as glass (tomato sauce, legumes, oil, fruit juice, yogurt, etc.), paper and cardboard (bread, fruit, vegetables, sugar, salt, pasta, rice, cereals, biscuits, eggs, etc.) tinplate and aluminum (oil, canned legumes, meat, fish, coffee, etc.).
We at Bivo are a small startup and to reduce plastic consumption we are activating a multi-portion line in which the container (a PP bucket, therefore recyclable at the end of its life) contains 25 portions of our product. With external partners we are working on further alternative packaging solutions because we truly believe that food, and the packaging that necessarily contains it for hygiene reasons, needs a revolutionary approach that does not limit itself to the quality of the food itself but makes the binomial content / environmentally sustainable container along the entire production and distribution chain.
Click below to redeem the exclusive 10% discount code dedicated to those looking for a complete, balanced, sustainable and Made in Italy meal replacement. Use the discount code “MADEINITALY”.
– Farewell plastic (by Elisa Nicoli and Chiara Spadaro edited by Altraeconomics)
– AA.VV F ** K Plastic: 101 ways to free yourself from plastic and save the world (Orion Publishing Co)
– A plastic Ocean (plasticoceans.org)
– Notpla (https://www.notpla.com/)
This is the third article in a series of three … see the first two at the following links on the Bivo blog: