We live in a world filled with modern technology and fast consumerism. We have the ability to design new and innovative ideas for everything around us, including the way we consume, yet our society dictates that we continue on a cycle of buying using and throwing away.
Our oceans have masses of waste material floating together and dubbed ‘waste mountain’. We have our ground stuffed to the top with materials we decided were no longer of use to us.
And, it’s not a sustainable way of living for our futures or our children’s futures.
Why are Current Plastic Bags Not Sustainable?
If we focus on just one of the causes for concern – plastic bags – then we can understand how our throwaway culture needs to be rectified.
Even if we have those lovely tote bags sat at home, we can forget them from time to time. So, we will end up having to use the plastic bags provided by shops.
Traditional and non-sustainable plastic bags are made using petroleum and fossil fuels. Right from the get-go, this is a finite source of material and will eventually run out meaning we would need a more sustainable source of material in order to continue with our shopping habits.
For there, statistics show that over 1 million animals are killed by plastics in the ocean each year. This number does not account for the number or microorganisms and life in rivers, lakes, forests and other land-areas.
Unfortunately, we can’t count on our planet to take care of these plastic bags: the long chains of polyethylene monomers that make up the plastic bag are built to last, meaning they will take over 20 years to decompose naturally. Even if we tried to burn the plastics, they would release toxic fumes that would kill our atmosphere while still leaving a residue that needs to be disposed.
What is the Circular Economy?
To tackle these horrific statistics, we as a people could delve down two avenues: either completely switch-out the use of non-sustainable plastics for more biodegradable versions, or to adopt a circular economy.
First off, the act of purchasing, using and disposing is called the linear economy, as it is one timeline. The circular economy, on the other hand states that we can maintain a sustainable way of living buy buying what we need, using, re-using, recycling, up-cycling, renewing with new raw materials until the item degrades naturally.
As this would decrease the large quantities of unused plastics entering our oceans and landfill sites, it is a much more sustainable way of living. However, influencing communities, countries, continents or the world to live by a circular economy would be very difficult and a time-consuming endeavour.
Changing the materials that we use would provide a faster saving grace to our environments.
How Can BioSheetTM be Manufactured into a Sustainable Bag?
This is where biodegradable plastic alternatives shine through. The BioSheetTM F series are disposable crop based film that can be used to make plastic bags.
When they are either fused together or artfully chained together using metals, they can create a bag for fashionistas or the average Joe.
With similar physical properties as PE (the plastics that we would see day-today in all manner of items), it is a strong and durable material, however its biodegradable nature makes it a sustainable and environmentally friendly plastic alternative.
If we make an educated and fast paced movement towards replacing the manufacture new plastics with the manufacture of these new bio-plastic bags as well as invoking a change to circular economy for the items that are already in use, we can make a positive change for our world.