Why Sustainable Packaging Is So Important

Sustainable packaging is not just desired by consumers, it is pretty much a necessity for any business if we are to protect our environment for the future. In fact, many shoppers now consider it essential for them to even consider buying a company’s goods. Consumers are now, more than ever, demanding a commitment from manufacturers to actively seek to reduce their use of unsustainable and environmentally damaging product packaging.

Companies should consider using sustainable packaging to reduce the ecological footprint throughout the entire product life-cycle. This involves not just reducing the amount of packaging used, but ensuring that wherever possible, everything we do use is not excessive and can be reused and recycled, wherever it ends up.

The environment and sustainable packaging

Packaging has for a long time been an excessive contributor to the high levels of CO2e in the atmosphere, levels of which are now dangerously high. Manufacturers have for many years over packaged, and consumers have always assumed bigger is better, yet that is now changing. No longer is it acceptable to over package, give no thought to the materials used or how they go on to be used or disposed of when finished with.

We now want lower carbon footprints from our product packaging. From the way raw root materials are collected, manufactured, transported, stored and disposed of, we must reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Carbon is the root cause of global warming, and a typical virgin cardboard box bringing our cakes to the supermarket, even when the box is recycled, can lead to a whopping 219KgCO2e let loose in the environment.

Yet clever packaging such as that offered by the revolutionary TrakRap system can see that reduced to 128KgCO2e, which through minor packaging changes and recycling can reduce to a tiny 6KgCO2e. This clearly shows that there are alternatives that work equally well, look as good on the shelf and still provide product protection, yet they do not do the same heavy degree of damage to the atmosphere.

Plastic vs Paper

It is also a misconception that only paper is good, and all plastics are harmful, it certainly is not clear cut. Paper bags are not actually lower in carbon emissions than plastic as they require highly intensive energy to produce. They must be heavier than the polypropylene plastic equivalent to handle the equivalent weights. So choosing the right combination of packaging is as essential for the manufacturer as it is for the environment.

Studies of various packaging types to calculate their carbon footprints actually recognise that plastic has the lowest carbon footprint when the entire life stages are considered, including sourcing raw material, manufacture, and ultimately recycling. When used with a minimal amount of cardboard, ‘good plastic’ and a ‘closed loop packaging system’ offer the best choices for manufacturers and consumers to protect their goods, their costs, and the environment.

The dilemma isn’t as simple as the damage plastic does to the natural world when released into the environment, but also how greenhouse gas emissions are raised with our use of corrugate and cardboard. We must improve recycling and reuse rates for plastic and reduce the impact of cardboard packaging on global warming by making smart packaging choices if we are to keep on track. We must identify solutions that support our products safely and keep consumers happy by defining these problems separately to solve each successfully.

Times have changed, and manufacturers must look at the complete picture and choose sustainable packaging if they are to keep their consumers happy, meet the need to demonstrate greater eco-friendly production and ensure that we Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as possible. So don’t be quick to dismiss packaging that still requires plastic. Find out how good plastic is now changing our perception when it comes to eco-friendly packaging.


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I am Daniel Owner and CEO of &

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