6 Super Useful Plastic Alternatives


By Mia Bencivenga


October 27, 2020

You can be anywhere, at any time, and see plastic around you.

Think about it. When you go into a grocery store, you’re immediately greeted with endless aisles of products in plastic bottles, boxes and bags. If you’re going to send a package, you stuff the empty spaces in the cardboard box with bubble wrap and Styrofoam packing peanuts to keep its contents safe. Even the clothes you're wearing are probably synthetic fabrics made from — you guessed it — plastic.

Despite knowing how damaging plastic is to the environment, it’s become so integral to our day-to-day lives that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. But it’s important to remember that we existed in a world without plastic for a long time, and we can do it again.

Aside from demanding more regulations on single-use plastics from politicians, and encouraging local businesses to utilize more sustainable materials, you can make some small changes at home, which can cut down on your plastic consumption.

Here are some awesome (and useful!) plastic alternatives:

    Don’t want to break out your dishes and silverware for your next get together, but also can’t stand the idea of using plastic plates and dinnerware? Bamboo to the rescue! Bamboo plates look cute, are sturdy, plus you can compost them with your food scraps.
    If you want something durable, long-lasting and easy to clean and disinfect, stainless steel is perfect. Replace your water bottles and Styrofoam coffee cups with a stainless steel thermos or give stainless steel Tupperware or lunch boxes a try.
    Do you go through a lot of plastic wrap? Beeswax might be your new best friend. It’s easily moldable into any shape and can provide a nice seal around bowls and plates. One caveat: beeswax can melt when it’s hot, so be sure to only use it when you’re handling cold food items. But if you take good care of it, you can reuse it indefinitely!
    Did you know nylon, polyester, and Lycra are all made from plastic? When you wash these fabrics, the synthetic fibers shed and accumulate in our water supply, which is bad for the environment. Next time you need new clothes or are running low on plastic bags, try purchasing clothing and totes made from organic cotton, bamboo, wool or hemp. These natural fibers are long-lasting, comfortable and of course, chic!
  1. GLASS
    Remember how soda, pasta sauce and other jarred goods came in glass bottles instead of plastic ones? That trend is coming back in a big way. Although glass isn’t biodegradable, it’s more enduring and more sustainable than plastic. It is also infinitely recyclable, so that bottle can become a new bottle for many years to come. Glass Tupperware and mason jars are easy ways to store leftovers, lunches, and drinks on the go.
    It’s softer than plastic, more flexible, and has an infinite number of uses. It’s also heat-resistant, making it an excellent choice for baking. Other than cookware, popular silicone products include reusable bags and containers. Just keep an eye out for silicone products that are blended with plastic!

Even though it may feel like it’s impossible to live without plastic, these great alternatives can help you take a step towards a more sustainable life.


By Mia Bencivenga