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Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solutions(PT1)

Consumers and brands alike now place a higher priority on sustainable packaging than ever before. Packaging of all kinds contributes significantly to the waste materials that end up in landfills. Finding and implementing eco-friendly packaging substitutes is now essential, not just a choice.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling is concepts that we are all familiar with, but today organisations of all kinds must make an effort to uphold these ideals. As Gen Z overtakes millennials as the next generation, both are pressuring firms to become more socially and ecologically conscious and favour businesses that promote this.

Although there is still a long way to go in the fight against plastic waste, material science and package engineering have made considerable strides toward creating substitutes and effective recycling techniques. We want to assist since the true problem is encouraging companies from all industries to use these materials. We at Interparcel firmly believe that recyclable packaging should be used, thus we want to share some eco-friendly packaging ideas with you so you can start reducing your carbon footprint!

But first, let's define what "sustainable packaging" entails.

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging is packaging made from materials that, through its duration in use, reduce its environmental footprint.

It's able to do this because:

  • The material's ingredients use 100% raw, recyclable or compostable materials

  • The production process has been reduced. By condensing the supply chain, you minimise the carbon footprint

  • Lengthening the material's lifecycle by making them reusable creates a circular economy and aids recycling

When looking for environmentally friendly packaging, independent research is crucial. Just because a material is recyclable doesn't always imply that it is fully sustainable. The definitions can be a little hazy, thus often environmentally friendly materials can also be unsustainable, and sometimes environmentally friendly packaging materials can also be unethical.

What distinguishes your company is its willingness to change. A smart place to start is by just being aware of and taking into account your possibilities for taking sustainable packaging measures. See what fantastic options are available to address your sustainability issues by continuing to read!

What is the most sustainable material to use?

Bio-Based Plastics

Pros - Bio-based plastics are created biologically, or from biological materials like maize starch or vegetable fats and oils. This could be an excellent way for your company to deal with the issues that synthetic materials that don't decompose have for the environment. Food crops, such as sugarcane, are frequently used in the creation of bioplastics.

This product does not require the use of non-renewable raw resources in its production, which reduces non-biodegradable waste. In the next 10 years, bioplastics are anticipated to account for 10% of the European plastics market and are frequently offered at competitive prices.

Cons- Bio-based plastics have been more popular recently, but some studies claim that this has resulted in major detours from the human food chain, which has led to shortages in food production and price hikes. While there is already a requirement for additional food crops to feed our expanding population, it is unsustainable to use crops to make bioplastics.

Plant-based products also have negative effects on deforestation for agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions (fuel, machinery, etc). Additionally, there may be an environmental impact from the use of pesticides.

Mushroom packaging

Positives - Compared to traditional packaging options, mushroom packaging is extremely cost-effective and environmentally friendly. It makes use of thoroughly cleansed agricultural waste combined with mushroom roots. Being recyclable allows it to avoid the issue that bio-based plastics encounter because trash is used in its creation. It can be formed into a variety of shapes thanks to the components, and because of how quickly it dissolves, you can even compost it at home.

Cons: Since this material could be a little difficult to get, buying in bulk from internet retailers who specialise in this kind of packaging is required.

Seaweed packaging

Seaweed packaging Earlier this decade, a group of designers came up with this brand-new ecological packaging material. This provides a technique to produce zero waste because seaweed is a plentiful and extremely environmentally friendly raw material. This packaging innovation is expected to overtake single-serve packaging as a major up-and-comer.

Cons - Aside from the possibility that it is a little less easily available, this form of sustainable packaging innovation has relatively few drawbacks. International shipping is available at, which also carries affordable seaweed-based items that help the environment by reducing post-consumer packaging waste.

Corrugated cardboard/paper-based packaging

Pros - One of the most environmentally friendly packaging ideas is cardboard and paper packaging. It is easily recyclable and biodegradable if it spends its post-consumer life in a landfill. Packaging made of cardboard is frequently essential for creating a sustainable brand and improving client image. To fulfil the needs of numerous businesses, this raw material can be developed to produce packaging with excellent strength.

Cons - This material's only drawback is that it frequently cannot contain liquids, food items, or oily substances. Or if the product's weight is simply too heavy for the material to support. This frequently leads to end-of-life transportation to a landfill rather than advancing recycling efforts.

However, the disadvantages might also be viewed as advantages. Instead of recycling, less durable recycled material can be downcycled. This implies that the presentation material will be strengthened by the addition of virgin fibres (paper made directly from trees). This is a waste-free alternative that extends the material's lifecycle, making it a genuinely sustainable packaging solution for your company.

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