Every year, people around the globe dispose millions’ tons of packaging materials. Together, all this disposed garbage has a significant influence on the pollution of our environment. Especially plastic wrappings such as water bottles play a major role in the process of polluting our earth. Traditionally, there are plenty of environmentally friendly and recyclable packaging materials out there such as cardboard boxes and metal tin containers. Nevertheless, individuals and companies around the globe are searching for even better and more sustainable alternatives.
In today’s world, sustainability is so much more than being recyclable or environmentally friendly. Companies can be sustainable in many different ways such as their means of transportation and water and energy use. Nevertheless, their choice of packaging material is often used as a measurement of a company’s overall sustainability. And with the ever increasing awareness of the end-user about the impacts of different kinds of packaging materials on the environment – picking the right wrapping for your product has never been more important.
In this article, we’ll have a closer look at what are some of the most sustainable packaging materials you come across while shopping for your everyday goods and appliances.
When in 2009 the world’s largest beverage company Coca-Cola Co. started to devote a serious amount of its time on developing a sustainable plastic packaging, global efforts to develop plant-based bioplastics increased significantly. The first generation of Coca-Cola Co’s Bioplastic bottle was called the PlantBottle. This revolutionary packaging replaced one of the two main components of PET with a renewable substance made from sugar cane.
Traditional PET plastics are made of 30% MEG (Short for: mono-ethylene glycol) and 70% PTA (Short for: purified terephthalic acid). Coca-Cola Co’s first plant-based bioplastic bottle replaced the petroleum-based MEG component with a natural alternative made from plant-based materials. By doing so, the wrapping became more sustainable, environmentally friendlier, and safer to use. Added to that, the recyclability level stayed the same as the replacement of MEG for a plant-based alternative does not change the recyclability of PET.
The introduction of the PlantBottle by the Coca-Cola Co. was one of the most significant developments seen in the bioplastics industry throughout the recent years. In order to make the impact of this latest bioplastic more significant, the Coca-Cola Co collaborated with several other large corporate players such as Heinz and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment who also started to apply in their wrappings.
After the introduction of the PlantBottle, a number of other big players such as the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance devoted more time in the development of bioplastics. In today’s world, more and more corporations choose the use of sustainable bioplastics over that of traditional petroleum plastics.
Bamboo & Mushroom Packaging
Besides the CoCa-Cola Company, there are other major players out there that are revolutionizing the packaging industry. Take Dell for example. This company has introduced the world to numerous innovative packaging materials throughout the past decades – making it easier for customers to be ‘’green’’ and to promote a healthier supply chain.
Ever since 2009, Dell started to use Bamboo as a component in the boxes and cushions used for wrapping their notebooks. Although many of us might not know it, Bamboo is a highly renewable material. Not only is it extremely strong and durable, when processed in the right way, it can be used as an alternative to foams that we often find in packaging materials. Whereas these traditional foams were often produced by using chemicals, bamboo is a 100% natural product. Not only is it recyclable just like paper, it is also certified as ‘’compostable’’ thanks to which it has received the D-6400 certification from the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
After the successful introduction of bamboo packaging materials, Dell developed a soft cushioning made from mushrooms that can be used for packaging purposes. Just like bamboo, this mushroom based wrapping is 100% natural and can be easily broken down by nature. Thanks to their unique packaging inventions, Dell was able to eliminate more than 20 million pounds of packaging materials since 2018. The company furthermore managed to make 75% of all the packaging materials they use recyclable – making them one of the greenest companies in the world. Ever since the first introduction of bamboo- and mushroom-based packaging materials, they are more commonly applied by more and more companies around the globe.
Metal packaging materials
Although there is nothing new or exciting about metal packaging materials such as tin containers and aluminum cans, it is worth mentioning that this traditional wrapping still offers one of the most sustainable, environmentally friendly, and recyclable options available today to store your goods.
Both large metal tins and small tin containers are 100% recyclable. When being recycled, metal containers do not lose any of its original quality. This makes them a great wrapping that comes with an unlimited life cycle. Recycling metal tins saves the global economy billions of dollars every year. Thanks to this, metal containers are one of the most sustainable form of packaging in nearly any way imaginable. Besides being environmentally friendly, sustainable, and highly recyclable, metal tins are furthermore cheap and fully customizable. This makes them a great and affordable packaging option for small and large companies alike. Custom tins can be found back in numerous industries where they offer a sustainable and attractive packaging for products such as foods , beverages, cosmetics and many other more.
Category: Climate Change, Conservation, Eco Friendly Products, Environment, going green, green business, Green Jobs, green living news, green products, recycling, sustainabilityTags: Bamboo, bio plastics, metal, mushroom, packaging
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.