4 Bamboo Alternatives for Single-Use Plastic Products
People turn more and more to organic and environmentally friendly products. How can bamboo products be an alternative to single-use plastic products?
There are more than a thousand ways to use bamboo. Of course, bamboo cannot be made into a bag for groceries. Well, it can, but it may not be the most sustainable option. However, there are a few single-use plastic products that can be perfectly replaced with bamboo products.
The products below are not necessarily meant for single use. Except for the last one, you can reuse these bamboo alternatives. Most of them can fit easily into your purse or backpack, as well as being used in restaurants.
Why do we need to refrain from using single-use plastics?
Studies show that the consequences of plastic use on Earth and humans are becoming a serious threat. The poisonous substances in plastic are eaten by animals regularly or burned because of a lack of trash handling. Plastic will finally influence the human’s health by air, water, or food. So, besides the fact that plastic disintegrates extremely slow, we also spread it everywhere and it becomes a real issue.
It often starts with individual people. Someone becomes aware of the plastic trash problem and decides to play a part in a greener development. Getting rid of or finding applicable alternatives to certain single-use plastics isn’t always easy. Yes, we can all have a grocery bag made of fabric in our purse or car. That’s not even a big deal. But what if you want a coffee to go? What about a smoothie? Chinese food. All of it often comes in plastic cups, wrappers, bags, with straws, single-use chopsticks, and so on.
Well, let’s say it’s not impossible. There is Costa Rica that wants to be the first country who bans single-use plastic. Therefore, businesses have to change their packaging. Or they simply don’t allow “take outs” anymore, we’ll see. Let’s hope they pick the first version and find alternatives that are biodegradable.
So what alternatives to single-use plastics can bamboo products offer?
Bamboo products are often rather made for longer use, which makes it difficult to take it as an alternative for single-use plastics. Sure you could throw them away after each use, but you can also wash them and use them again (except for our last product).
Most food establishments everywhere are now discovering different ways to replace plastic straws. It is disturbing that plastic straws have become an unavoidable part of drinking. Some places like California and Seattle have forbidden to give out plastic straws except if asked by a customer. I actually am extremely annoyed by myself if I forget to mention that I DON’T want a straw and I am getting my drink with a straw… I wish people always have to ask for a straw in order to get one. Because I believe that 80% would get used to drinking a drink without a straw in an establishment.
Bamboo straws are more and more used. Not only restaurants, but individuals bring them. You cannot drink your cocktail without a straw? Totally understandable! Get a bamboo straw and have it in your purse or backpack – ready for use when you need it.
Why do we have to refrain from using plastic straws?
The United States alone uses 500,000,000 plastic straws every year. This volume can cover the Earth’s circumference by 2.5x per day. It is a case of a total waste being created for minimal benefit.
Plastic straws look so little and harmless. But this small plastic is an illustration of a huge scrap created for the least leisure of people as they evolve to demand plastic straws in nearly every drink. There’s nothing wrong with convenience but not to the expense of adding up to pollution.
Plastics straws just jam landfills and harm the planet’s marine life. These tiny lightweight plastic straws sometimes never make it into the landfills. These are mostly found throughout marine clean-up efforts. The size of these straws makes them an example of the most sneaky polluters. They usually entangle aquatic creatures and get eaten by fish.
It can take hundreds of years for a plastic straw to disintegrate. It does not biodegrade. It photodegrades into smaller bits. These tiny bits will be consumed by aquatic and land animals. And sadly, it will sometimes enter our food chain.
What are the benefits of using bamboo straws?
Bamboo straws are lightweight, durable, and biodegradable. You can use it as long as you want. Bamboo has an antibacterial and antifungal quality which makes it perfect for drinks and healthy mouth hygiene.
These straws are made of the fastest growing plant on our planet. It can reach up to 4 feet in just a single day. It is ready to harvest in three to five years.
These are the reasons why they are the ideal natural alternative to traditional single-use plastic straws.
Bamboo straws are compostable. Toss it somewhere in your garden near a plant. They will conveniently break down into smaller bits along with its nutrients.
These seemingly wooden straws are made by chopping bamboo stalks. There are no chemicals combined to it. It’s nothing but a hundred percent organic bamboo straw.
Bamboo straws have this exotic fashionable look. More charming than an ordinary plastic straw. It will make you enjoy sipping your drinks anytime and anywhere.
Most bamboo cutlery sets contain a knife, spoon, and fork. Others come with a bamboo straw and chopsticks. They are great for everyday use. It is a classic, eco-friendly alternative to single-use cutlery. They will decompose naturally. This wood-like material will simply convert into nutrient-rich soil and will help other plants to develop.
What are the benefits of using bamboo cutleries?
Bamboo is one of the best traveling buddies that you could wish for. Lightweight, durable, and reusable. It is so convenient to use when eating fast food that usually comes with disposable plastic utensils. The bamboo cutlery can be carried around in a cute pouch to keep it clean or separate from other things in your bag.
Want some hiking adventure? A bamboo set is a perfect addition to your camping gear. It is lighter than metalwares.
Bamboo cutlery is an eco-friendly addition to school and office lunches. Inspire more people to be more environmentally conscious. It is also great for outdoor parties like barbecues and picnics. They also look more stylish than plastic.
Bamboo is stronger and long-lasting compared to other wood. This bamboo cutlery is strong enough to handle most meals. It can be easily cleaned and reused instead of throwing it away instantly, but you can also compost it right after each bbq party.
The design of the cutlery is not much different from the easily breakable plastic cutlery. The knife doesn’t cut very well but gets the job done. The forks are rather like sporks and the spoon is rather shallow, but again, they get the job done. If you can accept the annoying little problems that plastic utensils bring, you’ll be totally fine with the bamboo cutlery too!
Asian restaurants often serve their meals with disposable chopsticks and sometimes even plastic chopsticks. They are an essential part of Asian culture. Nowadays, chopsticks are commonly used everywhere not just in Asia.
Previously, the production of disposable chopsticks starts with the destruction of forests to harvest wood. This process causes drastic deforestation.
Plastic chopsticks are normally made out of Plastic #5 or Polypropylene. Because of its popularity, millions of plastic chopsticks are being thrown away. The demand is just too great. Recycling may not always be an option.
Bamboo chopsticks are not like this. Most disposable chopsticks nowadays are made of bamboo. Save many millions of trees that are chopped down to produce chopsticks. Let us switch to sustainable bamboo.
What are the benefits of using bamboo chopsticks?
Bamboo chopsticks are a great tool for cooking. They don’t conduct heat. It won’t even scratch your precious Teflon while cooking.
Bamboo chopsticks are great for parties. Your guests will have fun eating. This is a greener option compared to a plastic spoon and fork.
Are you on a diet? Be ready with your bite-size food and a bamboo chopstick. It will make you eat slower than the traditional spoon and fork. It allows your body to realize that you are already full. Chances are, you will not overeat.
If you’re done using it for eating and cooking, you can try to be creative and recycle it.
Are there any disadvantages of using bamboo chopsticks?
Make sure to buy reliable bamboo chopsticks. Some have splinters that may cause a wound. Choose a natural colored chopstick. There are instances of harmful dyes especially when it is falling off while you are using it.
Practice! It’s fun. But it may take time for you to know how to use it properly. Just don’t hold them too tight.
Cotton buds are one of the top ten most polluting plastics on our oceans. Not just in our bodies of water. Birds may accidentally swallow these buds causing them punctured stomach. These plastic buds are non-biodegradable just like any other plastics.
Doctors don’t advise people to use buds. It will just cause some health issues as it pushes back that earwax. It does not even clean our ears.
However, you may still need them for other situations, like make-up or touching up nail polish.
Have you heard of mimikaki?
Mimikaki is an ear pick or ear cleaner. It already exists for centuries in China and Japan. It is given at birth and used in their whole lifetime. It is the most economical and eco-friendly way because it is reusable.
It is basically a bamboo stick, on which you can attach a cotton ball. This way you can just dispose of the cotton but reuse the bamboo stick.
A bamboo mimikaki contains antimicrobial properties. Bamboo doesn’t use fertilizers and pesticides when grown. It also has a low carbon footprint.
Mimikaki is so affordable compared to the cost of disposable plastic buds. You can carry it anywhere. It is 100% biodegradable that you can throw it whenever you like.