5 sustainable alternatives to plastic for the most eco-conscious brands

When it comes to making your brand more environmentally friendly, choosing an alternative to plastic branded promotional merchandise is one of the greenest moves that you and your team can make.

We’ve been researching the best alternatives over the course of the last year, and you’ll be amazed at the great options that are out there without compromising on innovation and creativity.

Single use plastics are one of the worlds worst contributors to waste. Universally we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste per year. So, what are the best alternatives?



By far the most popular alternative material we’ve found is Bamboo. Not just a snack for Panda’s, bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable crops for branded products due to its ability to grow incredibly fast – up to 3 feet in just 24 hours.

Bamboo also requires no fertiliser and self-regenerates from its own roots. So there’s no nasty polluting pesticides required in its cultivation.



Next up it’s the humble cork tree. Cork is 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable – making it the perfect eco-friendly alternative to plastic.

Cork oak trees don’t need to be cut down in order to harvest the cork. Instead the cork is harvested by hand once every nine years. In fact, when cork is harvested, a tree is saved! So it’s just about as sustainable as it comes.


jute material

It’s not news that Jute is a durable and hard-working material that’s perfect for branded shopping bags. But it’s also a great choice for other eco-friendly promotional products because it’s biodegradable and recyclable.

Jute, a plant grown in a similar way to cotton, requires very little water to help it grow. And, since it replenishes so quickly on its own, there’s no need for harmful chemicals during the process. 


corn field

One of the most innovative and pioneering sustainable materials is the corn-based plastic substitute; PLA or polylactic acid. When plant waste (such as corn husks) are fermented and processed they can be a great alternative to petroleum-based plastics.

PLA is made from renewable resources and it’s completely disposable and compostable. Better still, there’s no pollution involved in its manufacture – so, it’s a much better option than traditional plastics!


cotton field

Cotton is sustainable, renewable and biodegradable – which makes it an excellent choice for a range of eco-friendly promotional items and marketing materials.

Most fibres are often petroleum based, which means they come from non-renewable resources and pollute the environment in the process. Cotton, on the other hand, isn’t. And, since it requires minimal water to grow and is drought and heat-tolerant it’s a great alternative to help you on the path to becoming plastic free.


If there’s one thing this article shows, it’s that it doesn’t need to be plastic to be durable, stylish and innovative. So, if you’re looking for alternatives to plastic for your next range of promotional products, you now know your options.

We craft eco-friendly bespoke branded merchandise that’ll help you make your clients and colleagues stop and take stock. So be sure to get in touch and speak to one of our experts today to start creating your custom collection of eco-friendly promotional products.