Bamboo products are fantastic replacements for plastics. The fact that bamboo products are reusable, biodegradable and sustainable. It is difficult to completely replace plastic alternatives because they are an integral part of modern living.
However, recent trends indicated that many people are looking for alternatives to plastic products in an effort to protect the Earth. Understandably, every effort to replace plastic wastes will make a global impact.
In this article, we take a look at 11 bamboo alternatives to plastics for individuals and families.
Bamboo alternatives to plastic recyclables
Plastics are everywhere, even though they are reusable and also recyclable. The concern about using plastics is that it is impossible to break down completely.
The small plastic debris either ends up in landfills or in the waterways and seas. The buildup of this debris along the food chains is harmful to marine animals. A recent report (by Earth.org) has indicated that animals have mistaken the floating plastics for food and eat them.
The global build-up of plastic wastes and traces of plastic debris found in animals is alarming.
That is why bamboo alternatives to plastics are a significant step in reducing plastic waste. And, keeping the Earth safe and free from pollution.
What does it mean bamboo products are sustainable?
A tree can take 20 to 30 years to reach maturity. In comparison, the large timber bamboos, including the other species, will take 4 to 5 years to reach their full growth.
This implies that the manufacturing industries can produce 4x as many products from bamboo as the trees.
Companies, like the Jungle Culture are working with bamboo growers and manufacturers to sustainably source these products to meet the demand in the UK.
So, the trend for bamboo alternatives to plastics and trees is growing, but there is a need to know about these products and their benefits to everything around us.
Sustainable bamboo alternatives to plastics
What makes bamboo a standout alternative to plastic is the fact that it is a fast-growing plant. At BambooGardenPlants.com, we recorded the Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis growing at a rate of 1.43cm per day.
The Guinness Record shows that its natural habitat can grow at an astonishing rate of 90cm per day.
Without a doubt, bamboos are the fastest-growing plants.
Biodegradable bamboo products
Plastics are not biodegradable. The plastic products we are using today will not break down. The report by Earth.org revealed that traces of plastics used in the 1950s and 1960s are still seen today. They have a permanent footprint on the environment and are harmful to the animals that eat them
In retrospect, 100% of the bamboo products will decompose and eventually turn to soil. But, reducing the use of plastics to zero is near impossible.
As responsible global citizens, we can reduce the amount of plastic we use by reusing what we have or using plastic alternatives.
10 bamboo alternatives to plastics
It does not take too much to understand why bamboo plants are an important source of eco products. Here are 10 common bamboo alternatives to plastics you can find in the UK.
Facts about non-renewable plastic products
As mentioned earlier, plastic products are non-biodegradable and unsustainable.
- Non-biodegradable because they do not break down completely. They are also the main pollutants of the waterways, seas and oceans. They are very harmful to the marine animals that eat them.
- Unsustainable because they are a by-product of petroleum a non-renewable resource that is in high demand and fast depleting.
The good news is that there are bamboo alternatives to plastics such as the 10 products mentioned in this article.
Facts about bamboo plants as a sustainable material
1. Bamboos are fast-growing plants
As mentioned above, a single bamboo plant on average can produce 4 to 5 times more products compared to a tree in just 20 to 30 years because they grow fast.
That means that the supply can sustain the demand for bamboo products and accessories.
2. Bamboo manufacturing uses less energy
It takes less energy to make bamboo products like the toothbrush as compared to the plastic toothbrush. The raw material (petroleum) need to make plastic products uses a lot of energy to extract, transport and converted into plastic. But bamboos, are simply harvested, prepared and converted to usable items.
In fact, the manufacturing process of bamboo products is less intensive.
3. Bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) fast
Living bamboos use CO2 to grow. So, as fast-growing plants, they absorb more CO2 in less time than trees and other plants.
An acre of a bamboo garden can absorb more CO2 than an average acre of trees and or meadow.
4. Bamboo produces more oxygen
Attributed to the fast rate of growth, bamboo plants produce more oxygen compared to an average tree. In fact, these plants are evergreen and also remain photosynthetically actively all throughout the year.
On average, they release more oxygen and absorb more CO2 than the trees.
5. Bamboo products are flexible and durable
Products made from bamboo are tough, flexible and durable. The fibres can tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius.
The products made of bamboo will last a long time.
6. Bamboo products are safe and hygienic
Bamboo-based products are naturally tolerant to pests and diseases because they have antibacterial properties in their fibres.
This often prevents the growth of moulds, bacteria and other microbes.
7. Bamboo plants are great garden plants
Bamboo plants tend to grow in clusters forming thick evergreen bushes. In addition to absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen, they provide habitats for other insects and animals.
They are also great plants for garden mulch, hedges, natural screens and for stopping water from washing off the topsoil.
Benefits of garden bamboo plants
The garden bamboos have special properties that are beneficial to gardeners and homeowners. In an earlier article, we discuss the benefits of these plants, and in particular, the benefits of the Phyllostachys and Fargesia bamboos.
We hope that it will inspire you to be creative as you unravel the many benefits of these fantastic plants.
DIY ideas and uses of bamboo
There are many things you can make out of bamboo. As mentioned, the stems are durable materials that can be used in many home and garden DIY projects.
Due to their flexibility, you can cut, shape and bend them to your liking. In fact, these grass plants are used extensively in the Asia and South Pacific regions for many purposes, from cooking food to building materials and making traditional arts and crafts products.
The uses are limitless! You can read about the uses of bamboo plants.
Conclusion (Bamboo alternatives to plastics)
The bamboo alternatives to plastics are eco-friendly, durable, biodegradable and sustainable. At a time when the Earth is full of plastics, any initiative to reduce plastics wastes is better than nothing.
We hope that the 10 alternatives to plastics will inspire you to find out more.