The Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza recently opened the world’s first plastic-free shopping aisle. To make the plastic-free aisle possible, the store needed to find innovative solutions to plastic packaging. One of the types of packaging they found is a fully biodegradable flexible bio-plastic created by Daphna Nissenbaum, an Israeli businesswoman.
Nissenbaum, co-founder and chief executive of the company TIPA, was inspired to consider the problem of plastic waste after an argument she had about throwing away plastic bottles with one of her children eight years ago, Metro reports. “I went jogging, and thought there must be a different way to handle this packaging we argue about all day,” she said. “I thought, what was the most natural way I handle waste, it’s when I eat an apple and throw away the residual part, I don’t feel bad about damaging the planet.” From there, she came up with the idea of creating packaging that could be disposed of just like an apple peel.
This is how TIPA came into being. The company produces bio-plastic packaging that is partially made of plant materials. It is specially designed to be fully compostable over a period of months in systems that collect organic waste. The packaging simply decomposes down into the soil, which makes it incomparable to “normal” plastic that takes hundreds of years to break down and never really “goes away.”
“TIPA focuses on the end of life of packaging, what happens to the packaging when you stop using it,” Nissenbaum explained. “If it’s plastic it will stay here for hundreds and hundreds of years.”
TIPA products range from bags designed for fresh vegetables to pouches that hold grains and pasta to snack wrappers. In the UK, snack brand Snact is already using TIPA wrapping for their products. Notably, Stella McCartney announced last year that she was committed to replacing plastic packaging with this eco-friendly alternative.
“Our mission is to change the plastics history, we want the consumer to treat flexible packaging as organic material not as plastic,” Nissenbaum said. “I see TIPA as a solution provider to change the history of plastic. We are not going to be a niche market player, we’re going to be a mass market player.”
We can all play a part in helping to minimize the amount of plastic on the planet. To learn more about how you can reduce your everyday plastic waste, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
Image source: Tipa/Facebook