Scientists are coming up with viable packaging alternatives in a world awash with plastic.

The website Investigate West is taking an in-depth look at packaging innovations that are helping to deal with the plastic waste crisis. This article points out that there are many different paths being studied, and considering the scope of the problem, they are all worth looking at simultaneously.

There are certainly some breakthroughs that are increasing recyclability. Fungus is actually being used to develop an alternative bioplastic that can degrade on its own. There are also chemical recycling options that are helping to break down plastics so they can be re-used in other petroleum products.

According to the article, the limitations involved in plastic recycling are leading some of the largest oil and chemical companies to experiment more with chemical recycling. Less than 10 percent of plastic actually gets recycled, but chemical recycling offers the promise of rebuilding the molecule chains that are broken down with heat, as well as the possibility of converting plastics into fuels and other compounds.

Meanwhile, innovators of all ages are developing plastic alternatives made from things like fish skin, vegetable starches, and other biodegradable substances that offer the promise of rapid decomposition when disposed of properly, a sharp contrast with the thousands of years that traditional plastics may linger in the environment. The article includes a profile of an amazing 18-year-old inventor named Anna Armstrong, who is researching composting options for bioplastics including materials made from fungi.

This article is a comprehensive look at a range of options in the world of plastics and sustainability. Check it out here.

There’s no doubt that finding alternatives to plastic is an important priority in the packaging industry. We must pursue multiple solutions—from reducing the amount of plastic used to finding alternative materials that perform as well as plastic but are more earth-friendly. This is a challenge we’re proud to take on at AMGRAPH. If you are using more plastic than you’d like, and want to figure out how to make your packaging as sustainable as possible without sacrificing quality, Contact Us today!