There are, of course, numerous alternatives to plastic already – paper, glass, metal and more. Plastic has many forms too. All have advantages and disadvantages.
I’ve noted four innovations in recent weeks that seem worthy of greater attention.
• In February, Tetra Pak announced it had produced 500 million beverage cartons entirely from renewable materials including the cap. The Tetra Rex bio-based cartons were introduced in October 2014, using paperboard certified by the Forest Sustainability Council and plastic caps derived from sugar cane.
• More companies are using opaque plant-based bottles that look like plastic, such as the US So Delicious Organic Almondmilk with Cashew launched in February. The bottle is 80% plant-based from sugar cane and can be recycled.
• Mondi has created a new recyclable plastic laminate, known as BarrierPack Recyclable, consisting of 2 PE film layers to make pouches.
• CCL Label has developed a new EcoSource label, which provides a bottle sleeve with up to 94% bio-based material.
Bio-based materials offer an increasingly important alternative to oil-based materials, if that’s what society chooses for the future.