Bamboo: an alternative to plastic

Over the years, humans have degraded this beautiful earth by using it as a dumping ground for non-biodegradable waste. Much of this results from an extensively prevailing throwaway culture with no hope of slowing down in the future.

The following facts about plastic pollution may show you the right picture of the gravity of the situation.

  • Every year, we throw more than 800 million tons of plastic into our oceans, impacting marine life and destroying their natural habitat.
  • Plastic has affected more than 700 species of marine animals, including endangered ones in the oceans.
  • The additives present in the plastic extend its life, and, in some cases, it takes at least 400 years to break down.
  • Only 9% of the total plastic produced is recycled. Of the remaining, 12 percent is burned, and 79% has ended up in landfills where it stays for hundreds of years.
  • Every second, consumers are using 160,000 plastic bags around the globe. Due to their lightweight wind carry these bags. Plastic bags stay in the environment for thousands of years after a mere use of 12 minutes on average.

This and much more is a grim reality of plastic use and its impact on our health and environment. But, simultaneously, it is also a fact that we will throw away more garbage and cause more pollution in the coming year if we don’t cease our not-so-trivial affair with the use of plastic; the most harmful of all – throwaway single-use plastic.

So, what is the way forward?

Knowing that plastic is everywhere, from cars to the mobile phone, clothes you wear, and food you order. The use of plastic has become an indispensable part of our daily life.

But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining; the negative impacts of plastic on our lives and environments have forced people to think about other alternatives. In addition, consumer habits show a positive shift towards the use of less environmentally detrimental options. For instance, the use of reusable containers is increasing, and many supermarkets are going green by pledging to reduce the use of plastic bags. Eco-savvy consumers are choosing more products made of plant-based textiles like bamboo.

Bamboo is “green gold” due to its manifold environmental and health benefits. Some of its benefits include sustainable and fast growth, air purification, resistance to bacteria. Therefore, in the plastic versus bamboo debate, the former carries a considerable weight that it is imperative to look at its environmental and health benefits.

Read on to know why bamboo is a better and a superior choice to plastic in a short while. At the end of this article, we ensure you will be convinced to buy more bamboo-made products, leaving plastic far away from your house.

Bamboo is eco-friendly

Bamboo is a renewable resource and an extremely eco-friendly alternative to using plastic. It is one of the fastest-growing grass, with some species growing three feet within 24 hours. Therefore, it is considered the most sustainable alternative for use in the apparel industry. 

Its cultivation does not require pesticides. Simultaneously, it is a highly efficient carbon sink and produces 35% more oxygen than trees. Therefore, its benefits for the environment and soil are unquestionable.

Bamboo crop does not require the cultivation of the seed, as is the case with other plants. It has a self-generating root system giving life to new shoots.

Bamboo is beneficial for health

The bamboo shoots are packed with vitamins and minerals; no surprise that it offers various health benefits. Bamboo shoots reduce cholesterol due to their high fiber content and low level of calories.

Due to the high level of cellulose, bamboo also stimulates appetite, prevents constipation, and improves digestion. Bamboo presents itself as an incredible low-carb diet alternative. A smaller portion of the bamboo diet is full of minerals and nutrients, filling the need for a larger amount.

It is a naturally occurring anti-bacterial product. Its natural antimicrobial properties kill germs and discourage the growth of bacteria on its surface.

Imagine the benefits of wearing bamboo sunglasses, or eating with bamboo-based cutlery, that naturally protects you from harmful germs. Isn’t it great?

Bamboo is an eco-friendly raw material for clothing

Bamboo is increasingly used in the textile industry for its smooth, silky, naturally soft yet durable texture. The presence of pectin makes its texture soft. Bamboo fabric requires less maintenance and ironing as it is naturally wrinkle-free.

The yellowing of fabric caused due to bacterial action is non-existent in bamboo fabric, making it a superior option.  The anti-bacterial properties of bamboo also eliminate odor. So, wearing bamboo-based material is a win-win in all aspects, such as price, protection against germs, and the buildup of odor in clothes.

What makes bamboo an excellent alternative to plastic?

We already looked at the superior benefits of bamboo to the environment and health. Still, to see if bamboo can really replace plastic, we need to look at what makes plastic so desirable.

Some of the reasons for the widespread use of plastic are its durability, easy availability, and strength. Plastic products are also cheaper and widely available in all forms and shapes in the market.

However, the biggest drawback is that, unlike bamboo, it is a petroleum-based product that has a detrimental impact on health and the environment. Its use at high temperature releases toxic fumes into the air that contaminate the air and cause breathing problems. Instead of acting as a carbon sink, it releases loads of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the air.

On the contrary, bamboo grows in the natural environment; it does not require much change in its form to make it useable. Therefore, the use of bamboo in making products like bamboo bowls, toothbrushes, bamboo sunglasses is becoming rampant.

We already know the astounding ability of bamboo in killing germs. It also offers uncanny protection against harmful UV rays of the sun.

During these difficult days of the pandemic with a deadly virus impacting our lives and livelihoods, bamboo’s anti-bacterial properties and UV protection make it extremely good for wearing on your body.  These properties are not to be found in plastic, making it a healthy choice.

Like plastic, bamboo is durable and long-lasting. Simultaneously it is biodegradable and compostable, a property that is untrue for plastic.

It is a natural source so tapping this opportunity is highly cost-effective, unlike fossil-fuel-based plastic that is non-renewable. The bamboo crop can regrow from its roots system year after year without replanting.

Parting thought

The future is about the use of sustainable, eco-friendly products instead of using plastic. Bamboo is the green gold that presents an excellent alternative to the use of plastic.

It is time that we shift to using more sustainable products to keep this earth and healthy and livable for our future generations. Plastic is a threat to the environment, marine life, and human health, while bamboo is full of benefits. It provides a natural raw material for an array of products that you can easily swap with plastic items.

But of course, it would require us to demand retailers to carry more bamboo-based products instead of readily available but environmentally damaging plastic items.

Your support for bamboo-based products will encourage those working to bring a change in the environment and introduce bamboo-made products. You, as consumers, are an integral component of this change.

It is time to ask yourself an important question; Are you ready to make the necessary change in your habits and change to bamboo-based products? We hope the answer is a positive nod!!!