7 Environmental Friendly Alternatives For Styrofoams, Plastics

7 Environmental Friendly Alternatives For Styrofoams, Plastics

Fawaz Adebisi 

Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene, is a common material used for packaging, insulation, and disposable food containers. However, styrofoam is also one of the most harmful materials for the environment, as it is non-biodegradable, toxic, and difficult to recycle.

Fortunately, on Sunday, January 24, 2024, the Lagos State government announced a ban on styrofoam packs and plastics in the state, stressing its environmental effects.

“Following the menace which single-use plastics, especially non-biodegradable Styrofoam are causing on the environment, the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources is hereby announcing a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the State with immediate effect,” the state stressed.

However, there are many innovative alternatives to styrofoam that are more eco-friendly and biodegradable. Here are seven examples of such alternatives that can reduce the environmental impact of styrofoam:

Mushroom material: This is a material that is grown from mushroom fungus and agricultural waste. It is lightweight, durable, and compostable. It can be used for packaging, furniture, and construction.

Plantable packaging: This is a material that has seeds embedded in it, so you can grow plants from it after using it. It is made from recycled paper and cardboard. It can be used for gift boxes, envelopes, and cards.

Edible packing peanuts: These are packing peanuts that are made from cornstarch and can be eaten by humans or animals. They dissolve in water and do not harm the environment. They can be used for shipping fragile items, such as glassware, ceramics, and electronics.

InCycle® cups: These are cups that are made from recycled plastics and carbon dioxide. They are lighter and easier to recycle than regular plastic cups. They can be used for hot and cold beverages, such as coffee, tea, and juice.

Bamboo fiber eco bowl: This is a bowl that is made from powdered bamboo fiber and resin. It can be used as a plant pot or composted after its functional life. It can be used for serving food, such as salads, soups, and snacks.

EarthAware™ biodegradable packing materials: These are air pouches that are made from a special type of plastic that can biodegrade in five years. They are similar to regular plastic air pouches but do not pollute the environment. They can be used for cushioning and protecting items, such as books, clothes, and toys.

EarthShell “paper” plates: These are plates that are made from limestone, starch, and water. They are stronger and more water-resistant than regular paper plates and can be recycled or composted. They can be used for serving food, such as pizza, sandwiches, and cake.

These alternatives to styrofoam are not only better for the environment, but also for the health and safety of the consumers and the workers who produce them.

By choosing these alternatives, we can reduce the amount of styrofoam waste that ends up in landfills, oceans, and incinerators, and contribute to a more sustainable and green future.


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