Plastic Packaging Alternatives: Materials Made From Fish Scales

02.27.17 // Heritage Paper

The latest in weird bioplastic materials comes from the United Kingdom, where Erik de Laurens, a Royal College of Art graduate, has created cups, eyeglasses and goggles from discarded fish scales. In countries such as the Philippines, Bangladesh and Cameroon, fish scales are used to make cosmetics, gelatin and collagen. De Laurens got his fish scales from a Brixton fishmonger, then washed, dyed and pressed the scales into various products that would otherwise be produced using petroleum-based plastic materials.

The use of bioplastics is growing as today’s businesses and consumers become more environmentally aware – and as the price of oil rises. All-plastic products are costly and harmful to the earth, releasing toxins in the air through the production of virgin plastic materials, as well as into the ground when disposed of and dumped into landfills. Bioplastics are sourced from renewable materials, from sugar cane to corn, cow bones to chicken feathers to fish scales. They are biodegradable, compostable and take an innovate approach to greener packaging solutions.

Other Plastic Packaging Alternatives

One of the downsides of bioplastics is the cost of production, which isn’t always less than making oil-based plastics. While innovators like de Laurens continue to create new alternatives to virgin plastic, there are also many tried-and-true materials that work as sustainable solutions:

  • Molded fiber: Strong, durable material made from recycled paper materials, and typically used for food containers and wine shippers.
  • Corrugated cardboard: Extremely versatile material that can be continually reused and recycled. Typically used for shipping boxes and consumer packaging, and can even be made into effective chairs and home appliances.
  • Recycled PET: A type of plastic that reduces the production and waste of virgin plastic by using recycled water bottles.

Heritage Paper provides sustainable packaging solutions, including corrugated cardboard, molded fiber and recycled PET products. In addition, we are committed to keeping our customers informed of the latest news in the sustainable packaging industry. Contact us today to learn more.

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