Since 1950, more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic have been produced. Of that amount, nearly 7 billion tons of this plastic is no longer in use and only 9 percent has actually been recycled. The crux of the problem is the blended materials in flexible plastic packaging that make recycling a real challenge, along with the confusion most people have on which plastics can actually be recycled. Everything from sandwich bags and food wrappers to shopping bags and that shipping packaging that’s wrapping your latest online purchase, are all contributing to the plastic problem. But with new technology, comes renewed hope! Check out some of the latest technology and tools that are turning the tide for the betterment of the planet when it comes to plastic pollution.
Reuseit Compostable Sandwich Bags – starting at $6.95 (25 count box) www.reuseit.com
Here’s an easy switch that can pay real dividends for solving the planet’s plastic problem. Make a conscious choice to purchase Reuseit’s zipper sandwich bags that are 100 percent compostable. It looks and feels like a regular plastic resealable sandwich bag, but the difference is that this one is made with TIPA Sustainable Packaging, a breakthrough certified-compostable flexible film. It’s the first flexible film of its kind with unsurpassed durability and sustainability that can handle sophisticated multi-layer packaging designs that require moisture barriers, zippers and printable material. These bags are even freezer safe! The engineers behind TIPA compostable flexible packaging are not only software engineers, food engineers and bioplastic experts, but they are also moms who were trying to teach their children about the importance of recycling only to discover that most flexible plastics never actually get recycled! So they developed a flexible plastic that can be recycled. Reuseit bags are also available in quart size and my personal favorite, gallon size! You can literally bury the bag in your home compost pile or bin and it will fully disintegrate within a few months. Don’t have a home compost? You can also drop these Reuseit bags into a municipal waste can where food scraps are accepted at your local composting facility and they will literally disappear into the earth. It’s not magic, it’s real science. These bags are made from organic biomass, otherwise known as matter that comes from living organisms, so since they come from the earth, they easily disappear back into the earth!
Recover Apparel – wide range of apparel starting at $15.00 www.recoverbrands.com
Recover brands was started by two friends who set out to develop a sustainable apparel line with a 360° process — from design to manufacturing to fulfillment. Recover brands strives to reduce the use of chemicals, water and energy, and completely eliminate plastic packaging waste when it comes to clothing. The apparel is a combination of recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton. In fact, one shirt alone could use eight plastic bottles! Recover’s eco-friendly process results in: 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 66 percent reduction in energy consumption and 55 percent reduction in water consumption. And here’s a bonus: when you order from Recover website, they will mail the apparel to you in TIPA Sustainable Packaging that is 100 percent compostable, so from start to finish, this fashion forward sustainability apparel line waste nothing in their mission to eliminate their impact on the planet.
Clevermade Collapsible Utility Crate – starting at $15.99 www.clevermade.com
Here’s another simple solution for eliminating plastic waste: Replace your plastic grocery bags for crates! The goal behind Clevermade is to create smarter products for easier living and you can feel good about it too because you aren’t contributing to the plastic waste problem. Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year—almost one bag per person each day. Laid end-to-end, these bags could circle the equator 1,330 times! Using products like Clevermade Collapsible Utility Crates can significantly reduce the amount of plastic used annually and they collapse so easily, they won’t take up your personal cargo space!