Eco-friendly packaging : how to choose?
Almost all companies are striving to become more environmentally conscious. With regard to packaging, the emphasis is on reducing waste and using recycled materials whenever possible. There are many ways to make your business more environmentally friendly, many of which involve your packaging choices. Companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment by choosing packaging made from recycled materials that are easily recyclable.
What is a sustainable packaging ?
To be considered environmentally friendly, packaging must have a minimal impact on the environment during its life cycle. The life cycle of a packaging extends from raw materials, through consumer use, to the final waste or recycling of the product. Ideally, packaging such as paper bags, boxes and cups should not end up in landfills, as these items are more easily recyclable. Many packaging items are also compostable and/or biodegradable. The impact on sustainable development depends largely on consumers, who have the option of sending their used packaging to a recycling bin, trash can or compost bin.
Also consider the environmental impact of shipping products and packaging materials. Items that can be shipped flat are more environmentally friendly in the shipping service.
In addition, many items must be packed with additional materials for shipping.
Here's what you need to know:
Post-consumer recycled content
is the content that is recycled by the end user. These materials have already been used and then discarded by consumers.
Post-industrial recycled content (also called pre-consumer recycled content)
is the material that is produced as a result of manufacturing, including waste, scraps, trimmings, leftovers, etc.
are materials that have been produced from their raw form and have not yet been subjected to the recycling process.
means that the packaging can be placed in a decomposing composition of biodegradable materials, and eventually transforms into a nutrient-rich material. It is almost synonymous with biodegradable, except that it is limited to solid materials and does not refer to liquids.
means that the product has the ability to decompose, safely and relatively quickly, by biological means, into raw materials from nature and disappear into the environment. Although there has been a lot of debate about products labelled biodegradable that do not really fit this description. Even milk cartons made of plastic-coated paper take 5 years to degrade!
is packaging designed to be reused without altering its protective function.
Always encourage your customers to reuse and recycle packaging. You can also choose to use reusable packaging that tends to have a much longer life and significantly reduce packaging waste.