A global campaign, Plastic-Free July, encourages people to reduce single-use plastic waste.
Considering Southeast Asia is the hotspot for plastic pollution, with more than 31 million tons of plastic produced yearly by at least 10 ASEAN countries, this campaign is essential for the region.
Organisations like World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are already taking initiatives to curb plastic pollution. And many brands in the region are also going plastic-free by manufacturing eco-friendly products. As an alternative to plastic, brands use bamboo, cotton, coconut, rice, and agricultural waste.
Some of these brands even rely on celebrities and social media influencers with a shared interest in sustainability to spread awareness and persuade consumers to switch to sustainable solutions.
Let's understand these brands' role in reducing plastic waste and carbon footprint.
Founding Year: NA
RiceStraws, owned by Nlytech Biotech, produces straws made from broken-down rice flour and tapioca starch extracted from cassava plants. Both the ingredients are safe to ingest and promise a plastic-free future.
The straws are durable and can last up to 60 days, leaving no carbon footprint behind. The Malaysia-based brand supplies rice straws to regional restaurants and stores in sustainable packaging and encourages everyone to ditch plastic straws. Companies like Kafka Coffee, Mama Kim, Penang Hill, Juicy, etc., use rice straws to serve their end customers.
Founding Year: 2018
Outfyt, based in Singapore, does not believe in the mass production of fashion that ends up in landfills. Instead, they use Econyl regenerated nylon, extracted from waste materials like fishnets and mixed with Lycra Xtra Life fibre.
The nylon lycra blend can survive degradation from sunscreen lotions, heat, and chlorinated water.
To reduce plastic waste further, the brand uses cassava bags for packaging and afforested paper with soy ink certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Founding Year: NA
Step of Grace, an eco-friendly lifestyle brand in Indonesia, is another company that has earned a place in the plastic-free July brands list.
The brand sells fashion and footwear products from organic cotton, bamboo, and other eco-friendly materials like repurposed seashells. Instead of using plastic buttons for their footwear range, the brand uses seashells. They also use cassava extracts for packaging material and tree fibre for price tags and labels. Whereas cardboard boxes, water-activated tapes, and dust bags for shipping.
So if you're ordering a product from this brand, you get eco-friendliness wrapped from the inside out!
Founding Year: 2007
A concerned mother founded Charlie Banana, a brand that offers cloth diapers, a fantastic solution to keep the planet plastic-free.
The waterproof layer in regular diapers comprises an inner plastic layer, which increases the amount of single-use waste and harms the baby's skin.
Charlie banana, one of the leading eco-friendly brands in Hong Kong, produces reusable diapers made of cloth with a layer of micro terry (a soft polyester blend) and high-quality fleece. Besides diapers, the brand sells plastic-free training pants and feminine care items, including reusable pads, nursing care, etc.
In 2020, the brand announced its first brand ambassador collaboration with Jennifer Toth, a mother who loves using Charlie Banana for her kid. Jennifer represents the brand in events and on social media.
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