Sustainable packaging is the new norm and it’s no more an option but necessity. Sustainability is becoming a higher priority to both consumers and the brands. Well, eco-friendly packaging is now finally more than just a buzzword.
Non Eco Friendly packaging is well known for fancy appearance and is a modern convenience that has been developed since ages. These materials are designed and manufactured to protect products and transport them easily. But we comfortably ignore the ignore if the dangerous fact that it causes harm to our environment easily in various ways.
Let’s see the cons of un-sustainable packaging and pros of sustainable packaging.
What are the cons of un-sustainable packaging?
- Most of the non-eco-friendly packaging material contains BPA(BisPhenol A) that is highly toxic and contaminates food and water.
- Non biodegradable materials cannot be broken down by sun, water and soil. These materials pile up in the landfill and also create a greenhouse gas called methane. This gas is the major contributor for global warming.
- Improper disposal of plastic packaging material or containers can cause insect and pest infestation. Mosquitos, rodents, worms are some common examples of pests that can easily breed in waste materials and cause diseases like dengue, leptospirosis in animals and humans.
- Non biodegradable packaging is cost effective too. It is hard and expensive for any industry to find a new packaging solution because of additional cost, additional time and consumers need to get used to these new products in the markets.
- Around 12 billion barrels of oil is required to produce shopping bags in countries like the US, UK, India and China. Production requires energy that is sourced from burning fossil fuels, which results in producing air pollution and water pollution.
A solution always exists when a problem exists. Let us see some pros of eco friendly packaging and then explore packaging solutions in another detailed blog.
What are the pros of sustainable packaging?
- Every eco-friendly packaging material is made of recycled waste or biomass. Implementation of such eco-friendly packaging reduces the carbon footprint and also reduces the negative impact that it has on the environment.
- Any eco-friendly packaging material can be easily disposed of. If the material has a recycle symbol on it , it can be recycled through a recycle facility centre. Or if the material is easy to compost, then they can be composted with either home compostable methods or industrial compostable methods.
- Eco-friendly packaging material can be easily broken down by water, air, soil, and sun. Considering that these materials are totally biodegradable, these can be disposed of easily without causing any harm to the environment.
- Unlike plastic, eco-friendly packaging materials are 100% toxic free and allergen free. The main reason for this is sustainable packaging materials are produced with the biomass which is sourced from nature.
- Eco Friendly packaging adds to the company brand image. It depicts your brand as a responsible company towards the environment and creates a good impression amongst consumers.
A few sustainable packaging material every brand can easily switch to are
- Carton/paper expand wrap instead of plastic bubble wrap.
- Dry grass instead of plastic air pockets.
- Corn starch pouches instead of plastic pouches.
- Carton or areca boxes instead of plastic boxes.
- Paper tape instead of brown/duct tape
It is ok if the packaging is fancy, but it’s brilliant if fancy packaging is eco-friendly. As a consumer let us accept the flaws in packaging if the final product is efficient. Let us support industries to go with low budget packaging, give them solutions and celebrate these sustainability initiatives by such companies.
Switching to sustainable packaging material might not be possible overnight. But this is something every brand has to look into and plan a strategy for the next couple of years. This not only helps in reducing the carbon footprint but it also improves your brand and increases your sales.