Packaging plays a very important role in almost everything - from maintaining fresh produce to disposing of waste. We’ve seen it all in documentaries and news reports that commonly-used plastics can end up in the marine ecosystem, with a bunch of single-use plastics floating around in the oceans and other water bodies. The plastic toxins inland can seep into the soil and water, affecting our lifestyle. The impact of single-use plastics is disastrous.

The concept of sustainable packaging is growing over the years and is becoming increasingly relevant in recent years. Many customers and clients are now focusing on sustainable packaging alternatives while ordering things online or buying from a local store.

When it comes to packaging by brands to how we get the locally sourced items, sustainable packaging is becoming more relevant and significant day by day.

But what is eco-friendly packaging?

The meaning of it is derived from the word itself. Eco-friendly packaging is the packaging that is safe for the environment and is designed to give the ease of packaging that we already are familiar with but without disturbing the environment and other ecosystems.

Previously, companies have not put a lot of thought into packaging and where it would end up after the customer discards it. Plastic, styrofoam, and thermal might help protect the items but are dangerous to the environment. Today, we can see a significant shift in the preferences and packaging policy from businesses and consumers as well.

Why do we need sustainable packaging?

It is well known that plastic pollution is a global problem that needs urgent attention. This is enough to urge a worldwide shift to sustainable packaging. The current conditions and disasters prove that everything is not okay with the world.

However, even though we are late to make the call, there are definite ways to reverse the impact on our environment. A sustainable lifestyle helps an individual to make a conscious decision and would help our future generations to sustain. The efforts to control climate change can be from clean energy to sustainable packaging - with a common goal of reduced environmental impact.

Drawbacks of conventional single-use plastic packaging

Conventional plastic packaging might be convenient, but it is indeed a wasteful experience. One of the obvious signs is plastic pollution. Most of the plastics floating in the sea and piled in the landfills are not biodegradable. It is recorded that packaging waste makes up almost one-third of the total plastic pollution on earth.

Plastic pollution has already reached a crisis level. It was found that single-use plastic bits have found their way into the marine food chain and many die after consuming the disguised plastic pieces. They either consume or get caught in plastics. This is why there is an urgent need to focus on reducing the use of conventional plastic and switching to sustainable alternatives.

Sustainability must be incorporated into the plan of the bundling, from sourcing crude materials, through the creation cycle, transportation and capacity, to recuperation and reuse. With a solid stimulus from purchasers for supportable items and bundling, makers are making the progress to all the more harmless to the ecosystem choices. These endeavors will influence diminishing natural contamination

The eco-friendly alternative

Sustainable packaging has a lower impact on the environment. It follows the sustainability formula - reduces, recycles, reuse - at every stage of production/processing till it is finally disposed of. There is a growing urge from consumers to seek sustainable options which are, in turn, pressurizing industries to respond with sustainable packaging.

Since single-use plastic waste cannot be recycled by everyone, biodegradable, plant-based options don’t need to be recycled.They get decomposed easily as they are made from organic matter. The problem with plastic is that it takes years and years to decompose and the toxins in it can have some serious effect on the ecosystem. In the end, it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles - microplastics - which can easily enter into the food chain.

Sustainable packaging helps businesses and households to reduce their impact on the environment. But to be sustainable, sustainable packaging needs to meet certain criteria -

  1. Produced using sustainable and non-toxic material and renewable sources of energy.
  2. It should meet the standards of safety and efficiency.
  3. It should be recyclable at the end of its useful life.

All these factors are considered while designing sustainable packaging.

Looking forward to a sustainable future

In addition to the immediate attention that eco-friendly packaging provides, we also need to see that it will change the course of the future. We need to take conscious actions today to reap the benefits shortly. Switching to sustainable alternatives might be a tough choice to make, considering we are hard-wired to use single-use plastics. That’s why companies like Eco365 are taking conscious action to bring a diverse range of sustainable packaging options for businesses and households to use. We must recognize the urgency of the situation before it is too late!

OurBetterPlanet recently conducted a workshop for its partners on sustainable packaging options. Click here to watch the video here.

June 30, 2021 — Our Better Planet