“Reduce” packaging plastics is the fastest way to improve sustainability

 

Sustainability is a necessary aspect of packaging nowadays. Plastic packaging is getting a bad reputation, but plastic reduces waste by extending shelf life and protecting products. So, it is not surprising that packaging is the top plastic waste globally.1 It is expected to have four times more plastic waste by 2050.2 We are all responsible for ensuring life quality and preserve ecosystems. That is why environmentally sustainable packaging becomes critical in the packaging industry.

 

Why should we focus on “Reduce”?

Monomaterial is a great way to promote packaging’s recyclability. But, did you know the US recycling rate is only 35.2%? According to the EPA, recyclable plastic such as PET and HDPE are way below the paper and paperboard recycling rate.3 Although more consumers are seeking green packaging, the amount of recyclables we currently collect is no near close to the ideal situation. It takes a combination of effort from the government, community, and individuals to improve the recycling rate. Yet, these changes will likely take time to adjust. We can still positively impact the environment by reducing plastics that go to landfill.

Flexible packaging uses significantly less plastic than rigid packaging. Let’s say you sell 1 million 5-gallon rigid pails per year.4 Then, you generate over 1,000 tons of plastics. Even you change 25% of what you sell to flexible packaging, you reduce plastics usage by 200 tons. These little efforts can go a long way. The benefits of flexible packaging are not just consumed fewer plastics. It has cost advantages and reduces overall carbon footprints throughout the product life cycle. Flexible packaging benefits manufacturers and consumers and the environment.

Flexible Packaging Challenges

There may be some challenges to transit from rigid packaging to flexible packaging. It may require changes in machinery. Brand perceptions may impact by switching from traditional packaging. It may take time for consumers to adjust to new product packaging. Zacros provides unique technologies and a support system for a smooth transition for everyone. With our comprehensive monomaterial flexible packaging, together, we can make a difference. Contact us to learn more.

 

  1. EPA, Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling
  2. Assumption using 5-gallon (2lb) pail and 5-gallon (0.4lb) Cubitainer®