Plastic food packaging means catastrophic single-use waste, and now, a waste problem that keeps on growing. Eco watch names plastic food packaging as an epidemic, and notes that every year, we produce enough single-use plastic waste to circle the world four times! The issue with plastic food packaging is that it only has a shelf life of however long the food that it’s preserving. So, for example, these apples at LAX.
The unnecessary plastic might be cuddling up to these apples for a few days to a week. Is that enough time to encourage more plastic production, plastic that lasts a lifetime in landfills and oceans?
Remedies exist to this issue– above all, we can start using reusable and compostable materials. However, we might be able to cut down on even more of this plastic food packaging issue with some tasty solutions. These three startups have begun to tackle the issue of plastic packaging and utensils one yummy creation at a time.
Ooho balls, or rather, edible water, are a great solution to pre-bottled, single-use plastic water. These spheres are produced by the British startup Skipping Rocks Lab from Fast Company, and are all the rage on social media. The outer membrane is made of algae that you can either bite into or peel off and compost– making your mouth and our oceans happy.
In 2013 alone, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles. Could Ooho balls be a trendy solution to replace some of that plastic waste?
These edible forks, spoons, knives, and chopsticks, what Kickstarter names “the future of eco friendly utensils,” have been making strides in India.
These utensils are made out of millet, rice, sorghum flour, rice flour, wheat flour and other grains; just pop them in your mouth and chew for some extra nutrients, or throw them away and they will compost on their own. The company boasts many flavors including sugar, ginger-cinnamon, ginger-garlic, celery, black pepper, and a wide array of others. This product has not yet made its way to American shelves, but has the potential to expand in the next few years to be widely available across continents.
Every year, 120 billion pieces of disposable plastic cutlery are discarded in India. The disposable cutlery idea has the potential to change this statistic.
Straws are a huge, unnecessary plastic item that Americans cannot seem to do without. In Fact, we use more than 300 million plastic straws each day. But unfortunately, straws are too small to be easily recycled, and thus, become trash. However, have no fear, this company has produced a durable sugar straw that can last in fizzy drinks or milkshakes for up to 40 minutes without softening or breaking.
Although these straws do not boast as high nutrition as the other options for plastic remedies, containing 7 grams of sugar per straw, they do contain both protein and fiber.
Although straws are not a necessity such as eating utensils or liquid containers, they still seem to be sought after and used just as regularly. Perhaps this edible twist will lessen the footprint that straws leave on our oceans and landfills.
Could “edible” be the new “sustainable?” Only time will tell. For more fun, edible products and designs– from candles to tissue paper, visit this page for fascinating ideas from all over the world.