What Is Wrong With Typical Packaging?
The main reason behind the packaging is so that the products are well protected and contain them. Packaging is all about convenience, particularly for disposable products and food. In most cases, packaging that you usually find is made from polyethylene which is a type of plastic. There are different types and they are as follows:
Polyethelene terephthalate: This is usually utilised to create bottles for drinks. This is the most common type of plastic resin and the type that is most recycled.
High-density polyethylene: This is usually used to create containers to hold liquids and heavy items such as motor oil, detergent, etc.
Low-density polyethylene: This is used to create highly flexible plastic films as well as plastic bags. It is not recycled as commonly. When you are given a plastic bag, it is usually made out of this type of polyethylene. It is also used to cover clothes that you purchase from retail stores.
Plastic is highly convenient and it is highly recyclable. However, not all of the plastic that is used is recycled. Unfortunately, as many as 70% of plastics in Europe are not recycled and find their way into the ocean or in a landfill.
Another problem due to this packaging that is quite environmentally unfriendly is its manufacturing process. Most types of plastics are created from crude oil by refining it. However, degrading these plastics is also quite harmful. It takes many hundreds of years for plastics to degrade and while they do so they release substances like bisphenol A which is quite toxic to the environment and animals. It actually negatively affects the hormonal systems of most animals.
Now, you may be wondering about using cardboard or paper instead of plastic as they are bound to be more environmentally friendly. However, this is quite complicated. Even though cardboard and paper are natural, they are not exactly environmentally friendly. As much as 40% of wood that is traded throughout the world is meant for the paper industry. This means that this industry uses up 7.5 million hectares of the world’s forests.
As you can see, these are very serious issues and we will now take a look at eco-friendly packaging. Also, if you’re looking for storage facilities for your packaged products, you can check out a box storage unit.
Eco-Friendly Packaging Defined
There are many rules created by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition that define what is eco-friendly packaging and they are as follows:
- Completely healthy, safe, and beneficial to everyone in its lifecycle.
- Meets the criteria of the market when it comes to pricing and performance.
- Renewable energy is used during sourcing, transportation, and manufacturing.
- Optimal usage of recycled materials and renewable materials.
- Best practices and clean production technologies are used during the manufacturing process.
- All the materials are nontoxic for the entire life span.
- Optimises usage of energy and materials.
- Recovered and used in industrial as well as biological cycles that are closed loop.
- Created from materials that are eco-friendly and can be easily recycled, reused, and is also biodegradable.
Eco-Friendly Packaging Benefits
Lowers Carbon Footprint
Once it is made using products that are recycled, this means that the packaging will have a lower carbon footprint. If it is made from natural materials such as cardboard that is FSC approved, bamboo, etc, this takes out carbon from within our environment. Therefore, you should definitely get eco-friendly packaging if you want to have a carbon-neutral business.
Once the packaging is created from natural materials, then this packaging will be easily biodegradable. Unfortunately, plastic takes many hundreds and thousands of years to break down which doesn’t make it easily biodegradable. There are lots of eco-friendly packaging that even use paper products that can be easily composted.
Easy To Dispose Of
There are lots of areas within Europe and the UK that have disposal and recycling locations. This makes it extremely easy to recycle once you take a little time to separate your disposable items for recycling.
Crude oil as mentioned previously is used to make plastic. It is very harmful to the environment in all its stages which include extracting the oil, refining it, distributing it, using it to create plastic, and disposing of it.