On the 73rd Session of the World Health Assembly (May 2020) were presented facts about the usage of plastic products which are frapping, and are the most serious problems about the pollution of the environment. The facts showed that more than 500 billion plastic bags are used each year, 13 million tons of plastic leaks into the ocean, 17 million barrels of oil are used for plastic production yearly, 1 million plastic bottles were bought every minute.
The experts also emphasized that 100 years is needed for plastic to degrade in the environment and 90% of bottled water was found to contain plastic particles, which raises the awareness about using them and finding the alternatives.
Here is a list of plastic alternatives being developed:
- Plant-Based Plastics
- Mushroom Root
- Seaweed Water Bubbles
- Shower-Friendly Paper
- Stone Paper and Plastic
- Palm Leaves
- Corn Starch and Sorghum Loose Fill
- Edible Six-Pack Ring
- Silberboard – Metallised Paper
- Wood Pulp Cellophane
- Prawn Shell Plastic Bags
- Milk Plastic
The Dutch company Avantium is in an advanced stage to offer a solution for replacing the plastic used in the food supply chain. It is supported by major companies such as Coca-Cola, Danone, and Carlsberg in developing a plant-based plastic that could be relevant replacement of the plastic.
Characteristics of the Plant-based Plastic
The plastic-like material developed at Avantium is made from corn, beet sugar, and wheat, ingredients that would completely disintegrate in a composter within a year.
Due to the ingredients that don’t contain fossil fuels, this plastic has very attractive sustainability data and can be recycled and decomposed in nature much faster than conventional plastics. If these bottles are left outside under normal conditions, they can dissolve in a few years, which can bring a big change in the world.
According to Myriam Shingleton, Carlsberg ‘s vice president of group development, packaging progress has been satisfactory and fiber bottles are expected to completely replace plastic ones by 2023. The plant plastic production project envisages about 5,000 tons per year.
The video below shows how plant-based plastics are produced, using sugar from corn, wheat, and beets.