7 Alternatives To Plastic That Are Eco-Friendly And Biodegradable

Finding alternatives to plastic doesn’t have to be hard. Here are seven, great, household products that cut out the plastic and are easy to adopt.

Beeswax Food Wraps

These food wraps are made from natural and biodegradable materials. They do not contain harmful substances that might affect your health. As these are antibacterial, they preserve food well to keep it healthy and fresh. While beeswax food wraps are not as pliable as cling or film wrap, you can simply press the food wrap and mold it according to the desired shape.

America alone uses 2.8 million tons of of plastic film each year. It takes hundreds of years before it breaks down which means that this endless stream of plastic film trash will only grow. We recommend using beeswax food wraps as an eco-friendly plastic alternative.

Cotton Produce Bags

The biggest benefit of using cotton produce bags is that they can be reused multiple times, eliminating never-ending piles of single-used plastic grocery bags, which are one of the most massive contributors of pollution in both land and water. Since these produce bags are made from cotton, they will biodegrade when discarded and will not leach harmful chemicals to the environment.

Another notable benefit is that cotton is breathable. Fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas as they sit and age. When produce is kept in breathable bags, instead plastic, the bags allows ethylene gas to escape to extend the life of the produce.

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Wooden toothbrushes are becoming a popular alternative to plastic and using a bamboo toothbrush might be the best option. Bamboo is biodegradable and 100% compostable. It decompose in as fast as 2-6 months — a great option for a zero-waste consumption. Although some brands use nylon for the bristles, you can find brands that use bamboo for handle and corn starch for the bristles.

Being plant-based, you never have to worry about ingesting microplastics which is possible when using a plastic toothbrush with nylon bristles. In addition, they are lightweight, gentle, and aesthetically pleasing.

Coconut Shells

Probably one of the most underrated materials is the coconut shell. Durable and sustainable, coconut shells can be a healthy substitute to plastic when it comes to creating combs, ladles, cups, bowls, etc. As you would expect, coconut shells biodegrade completely without harming the planet.

Interestingly, some developing countries coconut shells in building construction. They replace coarse aggregate such as crushed stone, which can lessen the need for quarrying. Below are dippers made from coconut shells, the traditional container of Thai people for drinking water.

Dipper made from coconut shell, traditional container for drinking water of Thai people

Cow Dung Planting Pots

Yes, you read it right but they are actually not as gross as the name sounds. They are 100% odor free and non toxic. These plant pots are created to replace the most common plastic pots. The greatest benefit of using these compostable pots is that they can go directly into the soil together with the plants. Plus, the material acts as a natural fertilizer which helps the plant grow. The material is safe, sustainable, and zero-waste — an ingenious container for a safer planet. Using these pots also helps the agricultural sector and local farmers.

Sugarcane Straws

Made from sugarcane fibers, sugarcane straws are sustainable, 100% biodegradable, and of course, free of plastic or synthetic materials. Sugarcane straws a even more eco-friendly than paper and metal straws and a great way to combat plastic straw ocean and landpollution.

Sugarcane straws are made to withstand both hot and cold drinks. They may soften a bit in hot beverages but will not get soggy and will even return to its original firmness. Because they are plant-based, the straws will not leach any toxic chemicals to your drinks.

Hand holding decompostable sugarcane straw for cold drink on white background

Corn Starch Bioplastic Bags

The most important benefit in using biodegradable plastic (or simply bioplastics) is that it will have a great impact in lessening the enormous amount of single-use plastic bags accumulating in landfills, oceans, and even at home. You might be skeptical about the durability of corn starch bags but these were proven and tested to be as heavy duty, tear proof, and leak resistant as conventional plastic bags. Made from corn starch and other natural ingredients, these bags are compostable and will not leach toxic chemicals no matter the environment they are in.

These eco-friendly bags can even be made at home with simple ingredients, though it might require skills in molding. But if you want the same convenience and accessibility to common plastic bags, you can easily buy them online at an affordable price.

Bag for composting organic trash