How can we make eco-friendly packaging? That is the question. Of the tons of plastics produced, did you know that 90% ends up in landfills? You read that right! Only a measly 9% is recycled. Don’t you think that we have a responsibility to lessen that amount, even just a little? There’s always more you can do to help the cause, and focusing on the packaging and labelling we use and produce is a great place to start.
Let’s start with getting to know what constitutes green, sustainable packaging. Firstly, what packaging materials are considered biodegradable? Paper and cardboard packaging materials made from trees are completely biodegradable. There are plastic bags which are actually biodegradable and start to decompose when exposed to sunlight. Bubble wrap made from recycled polythene is environmentally-friendly.
Packaging items that are made from corn starch are ideal for food. The only drawback is they have limited use or cannot be reused again. Mushroom material is natural, compostable, and takes around 30 days to decompose. So chic and cool that IKEA started using them. Seaweed materials decompose in four to six weeks, perfect for food packaging.
If you’re wondering “what’s ‘the best’?”, there’s no definitive answer to that. As you can see above, each material has its own benefits and potential drawbacks. Ultimately, what’s best, is what’s most suited to your business and your product.
Bioplastics are generally compostable, bioplastics decay into natural materials that can break down in weeks or blend with the soil without harming it. They are made from natural ingredients like corn starch. Biodegradable plastics contain materials that cause the plastic to decay faster in the presence of light and oxygen. They are different from bioplastics in the sense that biodegradable plastics are made of petrochemical plastics and may leave toxic residue. Bioplastics, on the other hand, are made from natural materials and don’t leave toxic residue.
Cardboard boxes and paper packaging are leading the way when it comes to sustainable outer packaging, but did you know that you can also use poly mailers? The name itself may sound synthetic but the good news is, they are recyclable. The container of your product itself can be recyclable or reusable. For example, instead of plastic containers, sustainable brands are switching to glass.
Labels are important, allowing you to proudly display your branding and logo. Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean that your label should decompose right away. You can use a material like BOPP which is both sustainable and sturdy.
In one study, 71% of consumers surveyed said that a company’s environmental impact was a big factor in their purchase decision. With so much plastic waste ending up in landfills and oceans, it’s important that we do our part, no matter how small it may seem. This contributes to an overall improvement in brand image. Not only can you call yourself a green company, you are also contributing to real change in the world.
We hope you consider using customised, recycled labels for your product. Give us a call at Labelservice to see how we can help.