Many companies are taking unique and innovative approaches to reducing the usage of plastics in their packaging. As strange as it may sound these companies have found ways to use potatoes, milk,  mushrooms, and sugar cane to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.

PepsiCo’s UK brand of potato chips, Walkers, is innovating their packaging by looking for ways to use starch from unused potato peels. Starch is very sticky and when made into a large mass can become stabilized into layers. These bags will be naturally compostable and plan to hit store shelves in the U.K. in the next 18 to 24 months.

Ecovative Design has created a new packaging material that is made out of mushrooms. This new design is called Mycobond, and is heat and fire resistant. It has the ability to absorb energy and can biodegrade even in conditions that are lacking oxygen. The hope is for this material to replace petroleum based foam that is currently being used.

Got milk? Well just ask clay. Milk and clay have partnered together to be used as an alternative to Styrofoam. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have designed a way to use clay and milk protein and make an eco-friendly packaging material. This process started by taking the cow milk protein called casein and strengthening it with some clay. The material is said to be strong enough for commercial use and a third of it biodegrades over time.

Proctor and Gamble have taken a “sweeter” approach to sustainable packaging by using sugarcane in their packaging of select Covergirl, Pantene Pro-V, and Max Factor products. The Polyethylene from sugarcane will be used in the plastic of those select products, making them easily recyclable.

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