Plastic revolutionised our world, but not all plastic is made equal. While plastic gives us access to cheap products, mass production, and the things we need, single-use plastics are a huge cause of harm in our oceans. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose between harming the planet and giving up plastic for good. There are biopolymers available on the market today that can fulfil the same job and new materials being brought to the market all the time.
We’ll discuss your different options and more below.
The rise in awareness about plastic and the harmful effects it has on the environment has led to the production of biopolymers and eco-friendly plastics, and while these are great choices for many, they’re not ideal for all applications.
When it’s not possible to use these more environmentally friendly products, the next best thing is to use long-life plastics that has the durability to last for years of use and can be recycled at the end of their useful life. This is one of the best ways to use durable plastics in your business because you reduce the amount of plastic in churn while still using or offering high-quality measuring products.
Biopolymers are produced from natural (hence “bio”) renewable sources such as bamboo, sugar cane, corn and wheat, and hemp. Biopolymers are not typically recyclable (though new techniques are being developed), but they are biodegradable (decompose in about a year) and some are even compostable (degrade in less than 6 months). These products are surprisingly tough, and won’t start decomposing until they are in the right conditions.
Our pet food measuring products can be made from sugar cane or bamboo-based biopolymers. Bamboo biopolymers, in particular, are proving a good alternative to traditional plastic materials. It’s sustainable, thanks to bamboo’s fast-growing qualities (bamboo matures in just 3-7 years, and is one of the fastest growing “woody” plants in the world) and no harsh chemicals are required to turn it into usable materials. As the bamboo matures, it helps improve air quality by turning CO2 back into oxygen.
Sugar cane-based biopolymers are also a good option as a sustainable alternative because around 1.2 billion tons of sugar cane is produced each year for a range of purposes, so the remaining fibres can be repurposed. Like bamboo, no harsh chemicals are needed to produce sugar cane biopolymers, and in the right conditions, sugar cane biopolymers can break down in as little as 60 days in a composting facility, or 90 days in a less-than-optimal location. This is particularly important since so much plastic doesn’t make it to the right facilities, and often end up in our oceans.
Biopolymers aren’t always the practical choice – while they are often extremely environmentally friendly, farming needs to be done sustainably and they aren’t suitable for every application. For those applications in which biopolymers are not suitable, polypropylene is an ideal alternative. We use food-grade polypropylene for our plastic measuring jugs which allows them to be durable and long-lasting and recyclable. For more information on how we use PP and its benefits, click here.
We can’t eliminate single-use plastics from our world yet, but huge strides have been made in the last decade. Here at Pro-Measures, we use all eco-friendly materials, from our long-lasting and recyclable polypropylene to the biodegradable bamboo and sugar cane biopolymers. We’re working for a better planet and when you work with us for your measuring products, you won’t have to worry about increasing your carbon footprint. To find out more about our custom measuring products, click here.