Guest post by Bella Roy from Pedigree
Did you know that consumer packaging is a top culprit of street littering and causes the most amount of waste in landfills?
Eco-friendly packaging is known to others as sustainable packaging, green packaging or environmentally-friendly packaging. It is the use of earth-friendly materials to package a product. A company that uses eco-friendly packaging materials can communicate its values on environment conservation to its customers and use this to leverage its brand image and reputation.
Environmentally friendly packaging is a form of packaging, usually made of recycled or renewable materials. This is safe and sustainable for both the individual and the environment. The main features of sustainable packaging are that they produce little to no environmental waste, are safe for people and the environment, and are made of reusable or biodegradable materials.
This type of packaging uses plastic materials that are safe, non-toxic, strong, flexible, and recyclable. It is one of the most popular transparent packaging materials often preferred over glass packaging due to the safety it provides. It is very light, comes in different shapes, sizes, and designs, and available in different colours. Another advantage of using PET plastic packaging is that it offers an excellent barrier; hence, the integrity of a product is maintained.
Glass is a trusted eco-friendly material. A consumer may choose glass over others due to its ability to preserve a product's taste and integrity. Its main advantage is the fact that it can be used over and over without losing its quality or purity. Glass is moisture-proof and heat-resistant. It is a good material for the long-term preservation of food and is can be transparent which is an important feature for food packaging. The commonly used glass containers in food packaging are bottles with narrow necks and jars or pots that have wide openings. Glass is widely recycled and is considered a sustainable material. The downside is that it can break or damage and is bulky and heavy to transport.
Metal packaging is usually made from Stainless steel, Aluminum, or Tinplate. The properties of food-safe metal make the packaging are that it is heat resistant, durable, and is often widely recycled. This type of packaging has been used since the 1990s primarily in the packaging of carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. 80% of all metal bottles ever produced are still in use to date. Metal packaging can be recycled to infinity making it the most eco-friendly packaging method, however, it requires regular integrity testing to ensure everything is safely contained and secure.
These types of eco-friendly food packaging are used internationally in the industry. Also known as butcher paper or brown paper, it derives its name from the German word Kraft - which means resistance, strength, and effectiveness. Kraft paper is made of wood pulp. It's coarse and brown in colour. Since the materials used to make these bags are mostly plant-based, they are very friendly to the environment. They are also recyclable and compostable.
Cardboard and Paper
Cardboard and Paper are organic and environmentally friendly materials. It is lightweight, has a low cost compared to metal and glass, and is widely recyclable and compostable. However, when cardboard packaging comes in contact with moisture and humidity, its barrier integrity will be compromised, making it easier to tear or damage. The downside of recycled paper and cardboard is that they contain harmful mineral oils and other substances that may contaminate the food beyond the safe-for-consumption level.
Sugarcane is a plant-based, tree-free renewable material made from sugarcane plant waste left over after sugar extraction. This fibrous paste-like material makes durable containers that are attractive to environmentally conscious consumers and require much less energy to produce than plastic products. It is suitable for cold and hot applications, sturdy, durable, can handle greasy food, and 100% biodegradable/compostable, It is also microwave and refrigerator safe and does not contain any toxic dyes, even in the unbleached design.
The materials used to make these types of eco-friendly food packaging are derived from corn and maize plants. This means they are biodegradable, which is critical when it comes to environmental conservation. it is imperative that the packaging is disposed of properly to ensure it does not take too long to decompose. When properly disposed of, the materials will break down into carbon dioxide and water, which cause no harm to the environment. The materials are cheap, sustainable, and easy to produce, hence, they are ideal for companies with a wide variety of foods to package.
Eco-Friendly Packaging can be a great move for your business!
With more and more companies looking for ways to reduce their ecological footprint, switching to eco-friendly packaging makes sense. Most businesses are looking to go green with their packaging and doing so does more than just help the environment. It can also help the business save money while making your company more appealing to customers.
Consumers take a lot of factors into consideration when choosing which companies to support. They are increasingly seeking companies that do their part to reduce their negative impact on the environment. A large % of customers feel better about purchasing products with packaging that is made from recycled materials, for instance. By committing to using eco-friendly packaging in your business, a company can improve its brand image and appeal to more customers.