Plastic Alternatives

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a polymeric material that has the capability to be shaped as per the desire. Plastic is of low density and low electric conductivity. Plastics are being used to make different types of products. Plastic is an organic polymer which is derived from petrochemicals. But due to the environment, plastics are now being developed from renewable materials. Plastic is being used to make toys, carry bags, and many other things.

Why Plastic Alternatives?

Plastics have many disadvantages and some of them have been listed here −

  • It takes a long time for the plastic to decompose

  • It is harmful for the environment

  • Plastic is produced by using harmful chemicals

  • Plastics may get broken due to heavy loads

How to choose a Plastic Alternative?

There are many features and benefits of plastic because of which it is very popular and used extensively. Some of the features of plastic have been mentioned here −

  • The cost of production is very low

  • Plastics are light in weight and can be carried anywhere easily

  • It does not corrode easily

  • Pipes, utensils, wires, and other things can be made by using plastic

  • It is not a good conductor of heat and electricity

Top 10 Plastic Alternatives

There are many alternatives to plastic that can be used to save the environment from pollution. We will discuss some of these alternatives in detail.

Alternative 1 – Glass

Glass is developed with the help of sand and no chemical is used in its production. Glass can be easily recycled. Glass jars can be used to store leftovers. Broken glass bottles can be thrown into a recycling bin to develop a new bottle. Glass will not melt in the microwave.


  • Can be manufactured easily without using any chemicals

  • Glass is easily recyclable

  • New bottles can be made from recycled glass

  • Less energy is required in manufacturing glasses in furnaces

Alternative 2 – Bamboo

Bamboo is a material that can be used to make different kinds of things. Bamboo is environment-friendly and stationery, tissues, cutlery, and many other useful things can be made easily. Bamboo has the property of filtering air and water to get protection from the attack of pathogens. Bamboo products are easily biodegradable so it is a great alternative to plastic.


  • Easily biodegradable

  • Natural products to manufacture useful things

  • Friendly to environment

  • Can be cultivated easily

Alternative 3 – Upcycled tyres

Rubber products are developed in such a way that their effect on the environment is minimum. Waste rubbers can be recycled to manufacture useful products. Wallets, laptop bags, footwear, and many other things can be easily manufactured by using rubber.


  • Can be manufactured with the least impact on the environment

  • Can be recycled to make useful products like wallets, laptop bags, etc.

  • Easily biodegradable

Alternative 4 – Beeswax

Beeswax wraps are better than their plastic counterpart. These covers are environment-friendly and organic cotton is used in making them. The developed product is covered with jojoba or coconut oil. These wraps are waterproof and safe from the freezer. If proper care is taken, the warps will have a life of 12 months. These wraps are compostable and biodegradable.


  • Friendly to environment

  • Can be developed easily

  • Beeswax is waterproof

  • Can be used for 12 months

Alternative 5 – Coconut

Coconut can be easily recycled. And it is considered as an excellent alternative to plastic. Coconut can be used to make bowls, mugs, combs, and many other things. It can also be used to develop eco-friendly gift baskets.


  • Can be recycled easily

  • Used to make various products like kitchen utensils, combs, cutlery, etc.

  • Eco-friendly baskets can be made easily

Alternative 6 – Silicone Food Covers and Lids

Silicone is developed by using silica and it can be kept between synthetic polymer and synthetic plastic. The lids made with silicone are available in different sizes. They can be used to cover the cut fruits and vegetables. You can also cover the leftover food with these lids.


  • Easy to develop

  • Leftover food can be covered

  • Friendly to environment

Alternative 7 – Paper Made Without Trees

Paper can also be made without using trees. These papers are made by using agricultural byproducts which may include sugarcane, lemongrass, cotton rag, and many other natural materials. These plant resources are beneficial as they can be utilized to make paper without cutting trees. Art books, desk calendars, gift bags, and many other products can be easily developed through these papers.


  • No need to cut trees to develop papers

  • No impact on the environment

  • Can be used to make different types of products

Alternative 8 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel was always a pupil product to be used for making utensils. A scrap metal is used to develop steel and there is no effect on the environment in its development. Stainless steel can be recycled easily. The material is resistant to water and air. Food containers, cutlery, utensils, and other things can be named through stainless steel.


  • Development does not affect the environment

  • A strong alternative to plastic

  • Can be recycled easily

  • Resistant to air and water

Alternative 9 – Clay Water Bottles

Clay water bottles are handmade and they are easily biodegradable. Clay bottles keep the water cool and can be a healthy alternative to plastics. Clay has been used in India for a long time and the temperature of the stored items is low in clay containers.


  • Easily biodegradable

  • Keeps the water cool

  • An excellent alternative to plastic

  • Light in weight

Alternative 10 – Jute

Jute is an eco-friendly material which can be made from jute plants. Jute plants have the ability to remove more than 15 million tons of carbon dioxide from the environment per hectare. It also produces 11 tons of oxygen per hectare. No insecticides or pesticides are used to grow the plants. Jute is affordable and durable and is easily biodegradable. Gift envelopes, table runners, pouches, and other things can be easily made by using jute.


  • Friendly to environment

  • Easily biodegradable

  • Can be used to make many products

  • Affordable and sustainable


Plastic can be found everywhere. Its development is very cheap and it can be used for many purposes. Plastic is harmful to the environment and many countries have banned or restricted its usage. There are many alternatives to plastic and some of them are paper, cardboard, bamboo, stainless steel, and many others.

Updated on: 05-Apr-2023


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