Source: Jess Bailey 
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How often do you shop? Have you ever thought about how much plastic is used to package the things you buy?
The total quantity of generated packaging materials rose by 6.6 million tons from 2007 to 2017 (+9.3%) . While plastic packaging delivers numerous economic benefits, it accounts for almost half of the global plastic waste since the majority gets thrown away after a single-use .
That’s not all. As we all know, plastic takes an average of 450 to 1,000 years to decompose, breaking down into smaller pieces along the way . These smaller pieces, known as microplastics, present a great risk not only to the environment but everything else in it (yes, us included).
Needless to say, changes are necessary, and we can start by switching to eco-friendly packaging. Here are some alternative eco-friendly packagings you can try:
Source: Wolfgang Hasselmann 
Using bio-based packaging is an excellent way to reduce carbon footprint since it’s made from renewable materials and can degrade more easily . One example would be using seaweed as an alternative raw material to plastic.
There are already many packaging products made from seaweed, one of which is Evoware, a local enterprise whose mission is to provide solutions to end plastic pollution by creating campaigns and offering a range of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic items .
What’s amazing about seaweed is that it's farming and cultivation process curbs carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; its cultivation process alone absorbs 20.7 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, making it a great ally to fight climate change !
Source: Hafisa Rafique 
Bagasse is the dry pulpy fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Due to its malleability and stickiness, it can be molded into packaging suitable for food delivery—similar to polystyrene. Unlike polystyrene, however, it’s completely biodegradable and compostable !
3. Bio-plastic from Cassava
Source: James Cameron 
Who loves cassava chips? Well, here’s another reason why you should love cassava: as it turns out, this cheap and common vegetable can be used to make plastic bags and food packaging!
Look at Avani’s cassava-based eco bags! Made from 100% bio-based material, the customizable bag can be dissolved in a matter of fewer than 150 days when discarded in water . On top of that, they’re also compostable!
Source: Cristina Anne Costello 
In 2019, Hasyim Asy'ari University's Laboratory of Science and Mechanical Engineering conducted an experiment using corn husks . Surprisingly, they found out that corn husks can be processed into paper bags, perhaps due to their high levels of cellulose.
In addition to that, corn husk paper has a biodegradable rate of up to 50% which is easier to break down in nature.
5. Use your shopping bag
Source: Priscilla Du Preez 
Bio-based packaging is a great alternative to plastic packaging, but wouldn’t it better if we stopped using it altogether?
It’s time to reunite with your shopping bags: bring it everywhere you go. By bringing shopping bags, we can reduce our carbon footprint by reducing waste from packaging while also minimizing the impact of natural extracts for the manufacture of packaging materials.
In addition to the alternatives previously mentioned, there are many other packagings that are also environmentally friendly. In fact, Indonesians are actually accustomed to using environmentally friendly packaging in traditional foods that we often encounter, such as banana leaves or pandan leaves.