Authored by Chloe Zimmerman
As humanity continues to generate waste that will inevitably end up in landfills and the natural environment, the importance of biodegradable consumer products becomes more vital. Plastic never biodegrades—it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, resulting in an accumulation of microplastics that may eventually make their way into our bodies. Keep reading to learn more about biodegradable products that provide more environmentally friendly results when disposed of properly.
Plastic straws are one of the most common contributors to unnecessary plastic pollution, with five hundred million straws used each day in the United States alone. Many straws used on a daily basis are not biodegradable due to their chemical makeup. This means they cannot be broken down naturally by bacteria and other decomposers into non-toxic materials. To combat these concerns, Phade offers a selection of eco-friendly straws, cups, and stirrers that are marine biodegradable and home and industrial compostable. Their durable plant-based products provide the performance of traditional plastic straws but allow for consumption in good conscience.
Not only are trash bags difficult and costly to recycle, but most are made out of polyethylene, a common type of plastic that can take up to 500 years to decompose. As a result, they end up as waste in landfills and the ocean, polluting our water and food sources. In response to the 100 billion trash bags used and tossed each year in America alone, HoldOn bags were created to provide a sustainable solution for our daily waste. Their products offer plant-based, compostable bags that extend the same qualities of durability and strength as traditional alternatives. The team at HoldOn is also committed to its internal improvements, constantly adopting the most advanced sustainability practices to limit its carbon footprint.
66% of U.S. households own a pet, with dogs being the most popular in the United States. Consequently, an estimated 22 billion pounds of dog poop dropped, and over 500 million single-use plastic waste bags were tossed yearly in the U.S. alone. The combination of plastic and animal waste amidst compressed garbage in landfills results in the emission of greenhouse gasses into the air, contributing to global warming. To help eliminate these growing environmental concerns, Pooch Paper offers a PFAS-free, non-chlorine bleached paper alternative. Pooch Paper uses renewable energy to manufacture paper poop bags that are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable. Their use of unbleached fiber produces a higher pulping yield, lessening their overall environmental footprint. Their sustainable products and practices allow you to care for your pooch and the planet.
While coffee pods are posed as an eco-friendly solution to waste curated from traditional methods, coffee capsules still make up about 576,000 metric tons of waste globally. Some researchers even suggest that coffee pods are more detrimental to the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions that follow the pods’ production and packaging. Bruvi Pods are designed to provide a “guilt-free” toss in the trash, as their materials break down substantially faster than untreated plastics through an organic process that leaves no microplastics behind. They also practice sustainable coffee sourcing and natural resource preservation to provide practical solutions behind a great cup of coffee.
Product packaging is a substantial contributor to the modern global waste issue. Even when people opt for more environmentally conscious products, they tend to overlook the packaging, especially if ordered online. Consider Amazon’s packaging: the company’s 2021 plastic packaging exceeded 300 million kilograms, according to the ocean advocacy organization Oceana. This is enough plastic to circle the earth more than 800 times. Impack asserts that although most poly mailers are recyclable, only a few make it to the recycling facilities, while the rest end up in landfills. Their goal is to tackles this problem head-on, creating packaging that is not only recyclable but also breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass, leaving no toxic residues or microplastics behind. Impack mailers are an exciting, environmentally conscious alternative to traditional mailers.
Mermaid Straw is on a mission to educate others about the effects of single-use plastics on the environment while inspiring and empowering people to live a sustainable lifestyle. They sell sustainable products such as metal straws, water bottles, and flatware and extend their reach to the community through cleanups, philanthropy, volunteering, and education. This crucial part of their business model helps individuals make informed decisions about the products they use—far beyond straws and cups. Mermaid Straw also has a solid commitment to mirror their mission by using only recyclable and compostable materials, such as paper mailers padded with post-consumer recycled newspapers. If you are interested in making an impact with Mermaid Straw, consider registering for one of their regular cleanups on Lake Michigan!
According to the American Dental Association, one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the United States, accumulating 50 million pounds of waste. WooBamboo is the world’s first certified plastic-negative oral care brand, delivering toothbrushes composed of ethically harvested and pesticide-free grown Moso bamboo, silk and beeswax dental floss, and biodegradable kraft paper packaging. Their products are also offered in kid’s sizes so the whole family can practice eco-conscious oral hygiene. In addition, through WooBamboo’s partnership with rePurpose Global, every WooBamboo oral care product purchased helps fund the removal of plastic waste from highly polluted environments all around the globe.
Think of everything packaged in Ziploc bags or plastic wrap daily to store them longer. The irony is that people are using single-use plastic for an act of preservation, which will then quickly be discarded and make its way to a landfill. Bee’s Wrap provides a natural alternative to single-use packaging by infusing organic cotton with a blend of beeswax, plant oil, and tree resin to create a durable, multi-use, and multi-purpose storage wrap. These products can be used for up to a year before they lose their grip, at which point they can be easily composted. These wraps also come in colorful, unique designs to brighten your kitchen space.
It is easy to opt for convenience when choosing products that we use regularly. However, if you take a step back and look at the growing collection of environmentally friendly, biodegradable alternatives, it becomes a no-brainer to make the switch. One item at a time is all it takes to move towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle.