Sustainable packaging is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. This involves increased use of renewable resources, decreased environmental impact, and improved social and economic conditions.
The term sustainable packaging can be defined as: “the development and implementation of packaging systems that protect products and minimize impacts throughout the entire life cycle, including sourcing of raw materials, manufacture, distribution, reuse, recycling, and final disposal.”
There are many different types of sustainable packaging
– Reusable packaging: This type of packaging can be used multiple times. Examples include reusable shopping bags, storage containers, and water bottles.
– Recyclable packaging: This type of packaging can be recycled into new products. Examples include paperboard boxes and aluminum cans.
– Compostable packaging: This type of packaging breaks down into natural materials that can be used as fertilizer for plants. Examples include cardboard boxes and food scraps.
Sustainable packaging is important because it reduces the environmental impact of packaging materials. It also helps to improve social and economic conditions by creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
Materials used for sustainable packaging or biobased packaging are made from renewable raw materials that have a direct or indirect natural origin. The feedstock for these materials can come from agricultural crops, forestry products, or other types of biomasses.
The use of biobased packaging materials helps to reduce the environmental impact of packaging by reducing the amount of waste that is produced. It also helps to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Some examples of sustainable packaging materials
– Paper: Paper is a biobased packaging material that is made from renewable wood fiber. Paper can be recycled multiple times and is biodegradable.
– Glass: Glass is a biobased packaging material that is made from sand, limestone, and soda ash. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused indefinitely.
– Plastic: Plastic is a biobased packaging material that is made from renewable plant materials. Plastic can be recycled and reused multiple times.
– Metal: Metal is a biobased packaging material that is made from minerals that are mined from the earth. Metal can be recycled and reused indefinitely.
Sustainable packaging is important because it helps to reduce the environmental impact of packaging materials. It also helps to improve social and economic conditions by creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
Advantages of the use of eco-friendly packaging
The use of eco-friendly packaging has a lot of advantages. Some of these advantages are:
- It helps to reduce the amount of waste that is produced. The packaging is biodegradable. Plastic for example is not biodegradable and requires hundreds or thousands of years to break down, releasing harmful toxics. This won’t be a problem with eco-friendly packaging.
- It helps to conserve resources. The products are easily reused or recycled, which will expand the lifespan of these products and reduces the need for new materials. Furthering lowering the carbon emissions.
- It helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of products like bamboo, helps drawing carbon out of the environment.
- It creates jobs and supports local businesses.
- It improves social and economic conditions.
The use of sustainable, biobased and eco-friendly packaging is becoming more and more important.