Upwards of 50% of plastic produced is single use. As only 9% of plastic produced has been recycled, most plastic accumulates in our landfills and oceans for multiple centuries.
What can nature teach us about packaging?
Nature can offer inspiration for product ideas. Think about how the skin on a fruit not only offers protection but is edible or biodegradable.
A U.K. based company, Notpla (short for not plastic), looked to the natural world for packaging ideas and they found seaweed. Seaweed has many benefits: it doesn’t use freshwater or compete with land crops as other plastic-alternatives do, and its quick growth cycle means it is plentiful. Oh and it is edible and biodegradable.
So they made seaweed the basis of their liquid containers and biodegradable liners for take out food containers.
And it is more than just an idea. Notpla worked with the London Marathon to replace single-use cups with Ooho packets filled with water for the runners hydration needs during the event.
As an EarthShot Prize 2022 winner, Notpla's mission is to “make packaging disappear”.
Let’s hope they do.