Why Bioplastics Are a Game Changer for Recycling & Repurposing

bio plastics

Plastic is a problem. As an outdoor community, people who rip in the backcountry naturally have a passion and drive for sustainability so to us, removing the carbon footprint from the hills matters. However, the problem of plastic soup remains.

BPA Side Effects

The reality of a single-serving lifestyle is that there is a mass of products that require A LOT of packaging. The fundamental problem with plastic packaging is that it is completely dependent on synthetic materials including one well-known environmental toxin and synthetic chemical known as BPA, or bisphenol A. Used in the production of bottles and canned foods (within the lining) this compound has been associated with human health problems along with environmental risks like an accumulation of plastic soup in the oceans and soil, plus so much more. In fact, if you an American there is a 93% chance that you still carry BPA inside of your body according to the Center for Disease Control.

Until recently, the overall approach to recycling has followed this general steez:

1.  Recycling is good.
2.  Recycling earns money.
3.  Recycling works.

However, there is a clear and present problem with this seemingly simple 3-step solution to recycling waste if you know anything about the real problem with BPA: it lingers.

Residue from conventional plastics causes traceable levels of BPA in the body. Research suggests substantial non-food exposure to this chemical and an accumulation in body tissues, urine and fat, according to Environmental Health Perspectives. In the environment, plastics cause similar threats to sustainable, long-lasting life. The technical term for the amount of lingering pollution caused by the plastic industry has hit a ceiling of global tolerance. The trend in a demand for material conversion from conventional plastics to a more sustainable alternative is starting to become more obvious all over the world.

“The diversity of plastics applications is a quality that’s unique to this industry, and something that continues to increase with every passing year. It has grown to include new materials and new markets that the industry’s earliest practitioners could never have predicted. The trend globally continues to be to replace other materials with polymers, suggesting that when it comes to finding new, previously unheard of uses for plastic materials, the sky is truly the limit. This bodes well for the industry’s prospects and its ability to welcome new workers into its ranks.” According to the plastics industry association.

How Toxic is Plastic?

If you’re starting to wonder what percentage of your urine contains this well-known chemical toxin, are you also asking, “Why it is still legal to use in America?” Well, many people have been asking that important question for decades and recent changes in United States legislature have finally started to see the results of the hard work.

Until the 2019 agriculture reform, the plan for sustainably reversing the years of damage caused by conventional plastic biodegrading included separating them according to a strict organizational system for recycling. That system, however, is no longer the only plan.

Within the 2019 agriculture reform a bill, also known as “The Farm Bill,” includes notations that remove criminal charges for growing or using hemp plants. In doing this, industrial production of hemp-derived materials including plastic began.

Looking towards a more sustainable future, it is easier now to see why agricultural reform includes the decriminalization of hemp-derived products like plastic. Today, hemp farmers have teamed up with many companies to create a more sustainable environmental approach to previously harmful materials like toxic mortar, metals and plastics. Not only that, but this revision in United States legislature also released CBD, or Cannabidiol from it’s bondage and thus over-the-counter hemp-derived healthcare products are now also available in places all over the U.S.

If you love spending your time outdoors you may also love to learn that bioplastics will taking a new form in 2019. The following brands are leading the industry in this forefront.  All of which have been awarded our Green Enviromental Awards over the years.

1. Patagonia.

This company only continues to deliver the best in recycled gear. The first in the industry to manufacture in fair-trade facilities, Patagonia is now awarded the #1 spot. This brand uses recycled plastics and gives back to the backcountry. Check out the summer collection along with Patagonia’s many projects online.  [Learn More]

2. Toad & Co.

If you need to find something you look good in and also feel good about wearing it may not be easy to find in a mall. Look to the internet to purchase any piece from a Toad & Co. collection to stay looking fly during any season. The company works to minimize environmental impact by choosing sustainability. The route is paved with dedication and a system of eco materials, reusable shipping methods, renewal workshops, conservation alliances, non-profit collaborations along with wildlife protection and so much more. [Learn More]

3. Niche Snowboards.

It may be time to put away your snowboard but remember that the process of recycling is never a seasonal effort. Made with zero waste, Niche Snowboards are formed in processes called Recyclamine able to reuse even epoxy resins. The materials are sauced up then poured into a mold that repurposes the original boards, for a new Niche Snowboard. So, none of your ride goes to waste! Get down with this company so you can clean up every mark of your carbon footprints in the backcountry. [Learn More]

4. Costa Sunglasses x Bureo.

Who would have thought about cleaning up residue of 640,000 tons of fishing nets? Costa Sunglasses and Buero teamed up to create a collab project delivering high-end sunglasses made with a passion for recycling. The shades are made from trashed fishing nets made into tiny pellets which are then molded into the frames of hot, new sunglasses. Known to kill marine wildlife including fish, dolphins and even sharks, the nets are much better off on your face than in our oceans. Right!? [Learn More]

5. Phunkshun Wear.

Remember that the summer can dehydrate your body no matter where you live. Invest in a high-quality water bottle and remove any type of single-use plastic bottles from your everyday routine. Your body and the planet will thank you, graciously. You can also shop online to support sustainability efforts made by this plastic bottle recycling company by purchasing any of their clothing – all made from recycle bottle fabrics. [Learn More]

Choose to show you care about yourself and the planet by making the right choices with your pocket book. With so many sustainable brands, it is a bright future for 2019’s summer season and recycling.

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About the Author

Brittany Artwohl
Brittany is an Arizona native, a female skateboarder and music junkie for the past 13 years.

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