Food and plastic waste have large environmental and social impacts. If food waste was represented as a country, it would be the third largest GHG emitter with a carbon footprint of about 3.3 billion tons of CO2 (UNEP). 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year (UNEP). Here are some of our favorite upcycled products that are made from materials that would have gone to landfill. These brands found innovative ways to give new life to items like used truck tarpaulins, used fishnets, "imperfect" bananas, cooked chickpea byproduct, surplus bread, and food waste.
Freitag is on a mission to create one-of-a-kind durable bags, wallets and accessory items that are made of recycled truck tarps. Each Freitag bag is one-of-a-kind, since each one is created with recycled truck traps that are different in size and design. S.W.A.P is an online platform where Freitag bag can be swapped between Freitag owners without any cost.
Bureo is on a mission to fight against plastic pollution by collecting old fishing nets to be recycled into NetPlus® pellets that are turned into products like skateboards, chairs, and sunglasses. Since 2013, Bureo has collected over 600,000 kg of NetPlus® materials.
Barnana eliminates food waste in organic banana farms by upcycling bananas that are imperfect for sale and make them into banana snacks with simple ingredients. Barnana has upcycled over 85 million bananas. This delicious snack is vegan, gluten-free, USDA Organic, and Non GMO Project certified.
Rubies in the Rubble is on a mission to save surplus fruits and vegetables before they are discarded because of their wrong shape, size, or color, by turning them into delicious jam, ketchups and other condiments. To date, Rubies in the Rubble reports that it has saved 126,195 kg of fruits and vegetables and 225,942 kg of CO2 emissions.
Source: Rubies in the Rubble
5. TOAST ALE
Toast Ale is a brewery on a mission to eliminate food waste by using surplus bread to make beer. As of today, Toast Ale reports to have saved nearly 2 million slices of bread which equates to 42 tons of CO2 emissions saved. All profits are donated to charities to support fixing the current food system.
Source: Toast Ale
ReGrained upcycles the grain produced after the brewing process that is rich in plant protein, prebiotic fiber, and micronutrients into delicious healthy snacks for all. Rise of craft brewing are increasing waste produced during the brewing process, and it is said that roughly a pound of spent grain is left behind for every six pack of brewed beer. All ReGrained products are non-GMO with organic ingredients.
Featured Image: Freitag