From belts made out of plastic bottles to up-cycled tote bags made from textile waste to 100 percent recycled and 100 percent bamboo toilet paper, our impact partners, Jelt, Cowboy Cricket Farms, World For Good, Anato, Dot Cup, and Who Gives A Crap, make good use out of innovative environmental materials to make environmentally and socially responsible products.
What is it?
Innovative environmental materials can be any materials that benefit the environment. This could mean that a product is made out of an eco-friendly alternative. For example, Who Gives A Crap offers toilet paper than is made out of bamboo which requires fewer resources to grow than trees. Alternatively, these kinds of materials include up-cycled materials that may have otherwise gone to waste. Jelt makes their belts out of plastic bottles through a process whereby plastic bottles are broken up into flakes which are melted into pellets. These pellets are then made into yarn which is eventually woven into the fabric used in their belts. World For Good uses pieces of fabric that would have otherwise been tossed into landfills to make up-cycled tote bags that are sold to support people who are at risk or are survivors of human trafficking and poverty.
Why does it matter?
Innovative environmental materials matter because they help divert unnecessary waste from landing into landfills or polluting the environment. Waste can be defined as material that is no longer wanted or the unusable remains and byproducts of something. If companies use what is conventionally seen as waste, those materials are no longer waste. This means fewer items are thrown out and discarded forever. This kind of resourcefulness can help slow down the social issues the world has been facing concerning waste. Fewer plastic bottles will be thrown into the ocean when a value is placed on the plastic the bottles are made out of. Fewer scraps of fabric will be tossed into landfills when it is possible, and even trendy, to make more clothes out of them. Innovative environmental materials have the ability to act as a climate change mitigation strategy and create lasting positive social change along the way.
Innovative environmental materials push industries to minimize the amount of materials that we consider to be waste which then opens up opportunities for new industries to take shape.