5 innovative plastic-free packaging ideas
We look at five clever plastic-free packaging ideas that are changing the face of business for the better.
It’s so inspiring to see more and more businesses jump aboard the plastic-free train.
Our environment - and the future health of our planet - depends on it, and besides. There are so many plastic-free packaging alternatives there’s very little reason to utilise the harmful and non-sustainable material anymore.
Besides swapping out plastic water bottles for reusable glass receptacles or disposable coffee cups for “keep cups” as we’ve covered previously, there are so many other environmentally mindful packaging ideas you may not have heard of that are growing in popularity.
This week on the La Española blog, we look at five clever plastic-free packaging ideas that are changing the face of business for the better.
There’s a lot of buzz around beeswax wraps online, but what exactly are these nifty packaging solutions? These reusable wraps - which can last anywhere from 6-12 months - are available from a long list of Australian online retailers, and are made from - you guessed it - beeswax. Plus cotton, and a range of natural oils. Some retailers add other ingredients. The benefits of using beeswax wraps go beyond being a sustainable packaging option. An eco-friendly (and more cost-effective) alternative to Glad Wrap, beeswax wraps also extend the lifespan of your food and safely store it for later. You can wash the wraps, buy them in a range of designs and styles and even compost them when they are at the end of their lifespan. Beeswax wraps are affordable and come in a range of vegetarian and vegan options. We love them!
We love the beeswax wax range from Aussie retailer Bee Wrappy. Check them out here!
It’s so refreshing to see so many brands, businesses and households reintroducing nostalgic brown paper into their packaging wheelhouse. There’s something so rustic, charming and trustworthy about receiving a package that is wrapped neatly in simple brown paper. And if it’s tied up with simple twine, also has paper branding and is accompanied by a plastic-free “thank you for purchasing” card - even better! More and more packaging companies across the globe are reintroducing this classic wrapping option, that are available in a range of clever sheets, envelopes, satchels, carry bags and so much more.
We love the range from Brown Paper Packaging in Australia. They have a large environmentally friendly brown paper packaging range, which are all recyclable and sustainable.
We may only be used to it but wrapping our sushi, but seaweed is an up-and-coming alternative in the global bid to eradicate single-use plastics. First tested just a few years ago by an Indonesian entrepreneur, seaweed works like beeswax does as a great food wrap. The benefits of using seaweed as packaging are vast. It is biodegradable, readily available, and even doubles as a plant fertiliser. Oh - and it’s edible!
Currently, major global brands producing seaweed packaging include Evoware in Indonesia, Loliware - a U.S company that produces edible seaweed cups and straws - and there is even a British company trialling a seaweed water bottle. Check out the UK’s Skipping Rocks Lab, which is aiming to put an end to single-use plastic water bottle usage with their unique designs here.
Forget environmentally hazardous plastic bowls and plates for that next event. Palm leaf products are the new frontier in sustainable packaging.
Many packaging businesses across the world are embracing palm leaf bowls and plates with gusto. According to Green Pack Australia, the eco-friendly crockery is made from “naturally shed palm sheaths of the Areca Palm (Betel Nut Palm) in South India. The collected sheaths are thoroughly pressure cleaned and mechanically pressed in a pre-heated mould.” The result? Top quality, smooth and beautiful plates and bowls that are biodegradable, recyclable and last for 8-12 months depending on storage and care. Similarly, bamboo is often used as a sustainable alternative to plastic plates and bowls, but lasts far shorter than palm leaves.
Check out Green Pack’s range of palm leaf products here.
The powdery kitchen pantry staple cornstarch is also a popular alternative to plastic packaging, as the final result looks and feels like regular plastic. The big difference is that cornstarch products are 100% biodegradable, compostable and made with renewable plant materials. On a compost heap, a cornstarch bag will break down in as little as 12 weeks.
Buy Eco Green has a range of biodegradable cornstarch products as well as a lot of handy information on the plastic alternative.
With so many fantastic plastic-free packaging alternatives out there, we implore businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the selection and make the switch where they can for a brighter future.