Renewable Plastic 'Grown' From the Sugarcane Plant.

By Amy Crawford

Sustainable plastic from sugarcane

Every now and then a bar gets significantly raised in an industry that makes the rest of the group look bad.

In the last 10 years or so there seems to have been a real surge in the community’s general awareness of healthy living (particularly in Australia, which is amazing) and it’s causing us to collectively step up and take notice - like what goes into our bodies, what are brands putting into their products, and which substances are coming into contact with us.

There are two awesome things about this movement: firstly, it’s going in the right direction – we’re learning self awareness, paying attention to how we feel, and understanding how to take better care of this gorgeous planet we live on.

Secondly, it means people like you and I are running businesses and/or making choices that breathe these values into the stuff we do and create; including the things we take for granted, like plastic containers.

The hidden dangers of toxic materials in household items.

I’ve written a lot about the danger of toxic substances and materials in your everyday life, and how making choices about what you bring home in your shopping bags (sustainable bags I hope!) can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing.

These toxic chemicals are evident in the majority of plastic, PVC and vinyl items on the market today, and many of these materials are even banned in some countries because of their subtle effects on our health. Think stuff like plastic containers for cleaning products (like jif), toothpaste tubes, lunch boxes, plastic toys, and the inside linings of canned foods.

When I started a crusade to rid my house of toxic material after a doctor’s request to help free me of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a lot of products I loved made their way to the bin, some simply because of their packaging.

In light of my passion for inspiring low-tox living, I was recently approached by ecostore™ to take a look at packaging they have designed. I quickly found out why – because it is produced using high grade sugar derived High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). A safe, recyclable and renewable feedstock plastic. Many plastics contain nasty additives which HDPE doesn’t. 

Renewable plastic

You can grow toxic-free plastic containers, apparently.

Yep, it’s a thing.

One of the biggest culprits of toxic substances in our everyday lives isn’t food or cleaning substances themselves, it’s the everyday items you take for granted, like your child’s lunchbox, or beloved Tupperware of decades ago. Clearly people have been working on ways to take toxic chemicals out of all this stuff and now it’s starting to show.

This is how ecostore™ are producing these new bottles: they are actually ‘grown’. Sugar is produced and harvested, ethanol is produced from the sugar, the sugar converted to ethylene and then converted to polyethylene plastic.  A safe, renewable and recyclable alternative to petrochemical derived plastics.

It seems these bottles also take the carbon neutral thing a bar higher because the sugarcane they’re made from trap carbon dioxide as they grow. Every kilo of plastic this makes stores 2 kilos of carbon from the atmosphere. They’re calling the bottles Carbon Capture Paks™, which sounds pretty fitting.

When you consider the fact these bottles are resplendent across supermarket shelves all over Australia, this makes for a large carbon emission reduction.

I honestly didn’t even know this was possible, but I think as we’re slowly waking up as a society, and taking far better notice of our health and a more sustainable future, we should start to see more of this. It’s worth mentioning too that ecostore are making this Carbon Capture™ Intellectual property available for any organisation, so here’s hoping others are soon to follow their lead.

It just goes to show that a bit of elbow grease and creative thinking can revolutionise how we live on this earth.

If you’re keen to give the ecostore range a go, or just have a gander at their new sugar bottles (and wait until no one’s in the aisle to try and lick one), their range of laundry, cleaning, home, personal care and baby products is available from Woolworths, Target, Babies R Us, Officeworks and selected quality independent stores. You can also buy the full range directly from ecostore.com.au.

Sustainable plastic sugarcane

This is a sponsored post. Please know that I only ever promote products or services on this website that I believe will add value to the lives of this community.

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Published:

July 06 2016

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