Natural alternatives to plastic discovered in Egypt
And what if innovation sometimes came from the past?
Plastic Odyssey travels around the world in search of practical solutions to reduce plastic pollution. At each stage of the expedition, the team gathers new findings: materials, objects, ideas, testimonials to prevent plastic from reaching the Ocean. These solutions from all over the world are presented in a traveling exhibition on board the ship: The Plastic Odyssey Treasure Chests.
Here are two natural solutions that the team discovered in Egypt.
The vegetable crate made of date palm
In Rosetta, Ibrahim Gabre is the founder of an association that supports traditional Egyptian crafts.
The association promotes throughout the country the work of men and women who make crates from date palm. The artisans collect the petiole, the stem that connects the palm to the trunk, which they dry and ingeniously assemble to make baskets that will be used to transport fruits and vegetables. With one date palm, approximately 20 baskets can be made.
These baskets are entirely biodegradable, as well as more durable and repairable. According to Ibrahim, the fruits and vegetables they contain are also better protected, as they are not at risk of being contaminated by plastic.
We all agree that this material from the past has a future!
A natural sponge made from a fibrous gourd
Cute Eve grows loofah, a fibrous gourd with exfoliating properties, used as a natural sponge for washing or for household cleaning.
The company has its own plantations, located in the Abees region of Egypt. In mid-February, the loofah seeds are sown, then cultivated and harvested in the fall. They are then immersed in water for a few hours so that the skin of the squash is detached from its structure. Once dried in the sun, they are manipulated with a cotton towel to give them the desired shape.
Finally, to modernize this natural product, Cute Eve sews them on fabric supports to integrate them on gloves, towels or slippers.
Other solutions to avoid plastic
The Treasure Chests exhibition brings together alternatives and solutions from around the world to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean.