So I’m looking into alternatives to plastic, I thought it would be easier than it is. It’s really not just a case of ditching the plastic and using other materials. Bamboo is a popular alternative, but it’s one that had to be processed a lot in order to be made into soft socks or other fabric items. It’s also not one that is locally grown, so gets grown, and processed abroad, not good for the CO2 emmisions.
Another popular alternative is to use metal, which while recyclable is a limited supply and needs to be mined and processed. The mining can be damaging to the environment and to the miners working there. It then needs to be processed often at high temperatures, and often have waste that then needs to be extracted from the metal. While some metal like aluminium is often recycled, many others do not. Jewellers and pawn brokers will take gold and silver of you and give you money for them, other metals just get thrown away. You can sell it to scrap metal people, but usually that’s just bigger pieces used with buildings or cars. Small ones such as cutlery or other household things, just tend to be thrown away.
So what’s left? local wood is a good one, as is glass. I would say anything that is originally sourced in the country you live in is the best option. If that’s not possible, and I’m sure I’ll struggle with that too, then other wood or natural materials, such as leather or other tans would be an option. Although leather isn’t good from the animal’s side, it is a good material to use from a recycling and reusing point of view. A strong natural fabric that can me made into multiple things.