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Top 5 innovations for Earth Day 2018

Our latest Top 5 celebrates Earth Day 2018 with some of the most inspiring business ideas trying to change our attitude and behavior about plastics.

April 22 is Earth Day and we are joining other organisations worldwide in this year’s campaign to End Plastic Pollution. We do it the best way we can, by sharing insights into some of the innovations that are bringing new hope in the fight against plastic waste. In this report we highlight 5 ways to break up with plastic:

1. Gamifying trash collection

With million tons of plastic waste ending up in rivers and oceans worldwide, finding new and effective ways to clean up our waters is becoming more urgent. One US charity is trying to turn trash collection into fun by inviting online players worldwide to join a game whilst collecting trash in real time.

2. Recycling in style

We have already seen hundreds of ideas on plastic recycling and we are happy to see that creativity in a circular economy is never ending. A revolutionary homeware brand is following this trend and demonstrating that recycling and design can work together to deliver functional and stylish products entirely from trash.

3. Upcycling is the new recycling

Another way to fight the battle against plastic is extending the life of a product or upgrading the material for another use. A British company is embracing upcycling to tackle the global problem of disposable coffee cups that are lined with plastic.

4. Finding biodegradable alternatives

Many of the products we use every day are made of plastic. As customers become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of plastic pollution, companies are coming under pressure to offer eco-friendly substitutes for everyday essentials. One startup in the US has come up with an edible version of the classic plastic straw.

5. Stop using plastic

If you can’t recycle it or upcycle it, there is another way to win the battle against plastic… just don’t use it! Breaking our addiction to plastic is not easy, especially when it comes to food packaging. It takes both businesses and consumers some good courage, but a supermarket chain in the Netherlands is proving that it is not impossible.

Be brave, be plastic-free.

Compostable seaweed straws can be eaten after use

Startup is looking to replace single-use plastic straws with an edible version that also biodegrades rapidly.

Read more about LOLISTRAW »

Disposable coffee cups are upcycled into luxury papers

A luxury papermaker is collaborating with recyclers to produce high quality papers from recycled take-away cups.

Read more about CupCycling »

Furniture company combines recycling and design

A German furniture maker turns trash into designer products by creating its own materials from discarded items.

Read more about Pentatonic »

Online gamers control trash collecting water robot

To help clean Chicago’s river, a charity created a remote-controlled trash-collecting robot that players online can access and direct.

Read more about TrashBot »

World’s first plastic-free grocery aisle opens in Amsterdam

A Dutch grocery chain has installed an entirely plastic-free supermarket aisle to help shoppers cut down on plastic packaging.

Read more about the world’s first plastic-free grocery aisle »