Sustainable Materials 101: An Introduction

by Ezra Bisschop
August 03 2021 - 3 min read

When we talk about material, the list is endless. Basically, any substance in this world is material, whether it is living organisms, products or even air! Of course, here we talk about sustainable materials for the production of goods. However, which one is sustainable? And why? Below you will find a brief description of the most commonly used types in today’s products.


1. Wheat Straw Plastic

Wheat straw plastic, also known as bioplastic, is an alternative for regular plastics (polyethylene or PE). More specific, it is a waste material derived from growing and harvesting wheat. The waste (known as stalks) is a completely natural product with great characteristics such as strength and durability. In terms of eco-friendliness, wheat straw plastic is fully biodegradable. Moreover, the production uses less energy and petroleum as compared to the production of regular plastics. Hence, it lowers your carbon footprint.


Bamboo, a type of grass, is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Some sorts can reach maturity in three months while others take up to 3 years. Bamboo is said to be very sustainable because of its revitalizing properties and its method of cultivation. I.e. no fertilizers are required and it can grow on infertile soil. Moreover, harvesting is often done by hand which means zero emissions from feller bunchers.

Coconut Fiber

Coconut fiber is obtained from the outer covering of a coconut. The fiber is extracted from the shell by means of retting techniques. This basically means soaking the husk into salt water for a period of several months to facilitate microbial degradation. After the retting process, the fibers are separated from the softened shell. Coconut fibers have good mechanical properties such as being strong, elastic and resistant to rotting. Furthermore, the use of coconut fibers is sustainable since the coir is organic and the material is in abundance.

To be continued....

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