Every year hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic are produced to meet our growing appetite for the material. Plastic is everywhere - and it is choking not just the land but our marine life too.
So a natural alternative made from sugar beet waste may just be the answer to our destructive love affair with plastic.
A company in Italy called Bio-on has found that bacteria that feed off sugar beet waste can be manipulated to create a biodegradable alternative to plastic.
Giorgia Scaturro is in Bologna, Italy, to see whether this bioplastic could offer a solution to a growing environmental problem.
'earthrise' is an award-winning series exploring solutions to the environmental challenges we face today.
The programme takes an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects all around the world, from a group of Dutch architects who design stunning buildings made from waste materials, to an ingenious project that has dramatically cut rhino poaching on a South African game reserve.