The adverse impact of packaging on our environment is continuously increasing. This has motivated the companies to switch to eco-friendly alternatives to package their products.
Hygiene, minimizing waste and easy distribution are some of the main reasons why retail shelves are filled with packaged products. Especially in the case of edible food items, custom packaging plays several functions. It not only protects the products but also helps in improving their useful life. Food packaging is one of the largest sectors worldwide. The packaging is necessary to maintain quality and safety but at the same time, it affects our environment adversely. The waste left behind is a big threat. It leads to serious ecological problems. Developed countries are aware of the seriousness of this issue since the 1960s. They are making efforts to overcome it but a large scale innovative is necessary to reduce the overall environmental impact.
How is Packaging Affecting the Planet?
Food packaging wholesale is a big contributor to overall waste. It leads to fly-tipped rubbish and landfill, which is becoming is a major problem worldwide. The custom box packaging companies have made conscious efforts to recycle more. They have started designing food packaging boxes from sustainable material. But only half of the UK’s household waste is recycled and other ends in landfills. Waste statistics are still alarming.
According to National Geographic Research, 5.35 trillion pieces of plastic trash has been found in the world’s oceans with 269000 tons floating on the surface. And all that is plastic waste! This is not only damaging the environment but it’s also a serious threat to sea life. Environmental degradation caused by packaging material is not a new issue. It existed for years. However, the circumstances are increasing over time. The direct or indirect impact of packaging includes soil degradation, waste accumulation, desertification, water pollution, an increase in carbon footprints and toxic pollutants. This has also lead to a reduction in scarce resources like forests. Materials like plastic are dumped everywhere, affecting our eco-system badly. All these outcomes are seriously affecting the sustainable development of the environment.
Waste Management Approach:
The effects of custom food packaging on the environment are adverse. However, proper waste management is necessary to save human health, overcome environmental issues and preserve natural resources. Some of the practices include:
Source Reduction – It includes using less packaging. Design the products that last longer and can be reused. It reduces the amount and toxicity of waste. You can implement source reduction by changing the material, packaging design or the way of manufacturing. As a solution to packaging waste, the manufacturers have worked on the design of these custom printed pizza boxes. Instead of giving a full-size custom pizza box, wholesale small boxes are designed with triangular box die cuts for every single serving.
Combustion – It is the controlled burning of waste. The process is carried in a designated facility. Combustion is preferred for the materials which are unable to recycle. It is beneficial as it can be used for creating waste-to-energy facilities.
Composting – It is good for the waste which can’t be recycled. Composting is the controlled aerobic degradation of different organic materials. It is an important alternative to waste disposal. Composting involves the positioning of organic material into piles. This is done by providing enough moisture for aerobic decomposition by microorganisms.
Land lifting – It is an environmentally sound way of disposing of the remaining municipal solid waste. The residues of recycling and combustion can also be disposed of by this mean.
Sustainable Packaging and Recycling:
The impact on the environment can be minimized by using sustainable packaging. Paper and cardboard are the biggest examples of eco-friendly material. They are used to make a wide range of packaging products like gift boxes, cake boxes, Chinese food to-go containers, and gable food packaging, etc. With the help of different cardboard ideas, you can create a template according to any design you want. The custom presentation boxes are printed with a recyclable sign.
This motivates the consumers to dispose of their packaging in the recycling bin after use. The materials which are recycled include all type of paper and cardboard products, glass, some metals and a few types of plastic. Some packaging can be recycled a few times while some infinitely. Their life span is listed as follows:
Plastic and Polystyrene – once
Cardboard – 3 to 4 times
Paper – 5 to 7 times
Glass and Metals – infinitely
EPA Packaging Suggestions:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given some suggestions to help manufacturers in this regard. Companies should use less packaging material. This reduces the economic as well as environmental impact of their packaging. Increasing the recycled content can reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill. Finally, the companies should educate the consumers on how to dispose of their packaging responsibly.
Impact of Environmental-Friendly Packaging Materials:
Several large companies have adopted Eco-Friendly Packaging. They have switched from plastic to recyclable cardboard for making their product boxes. Compostable packaging is being used to make food boxes. It decomposes within a year. It breaks down to a material that benefits the soil. If we consider long-run, biodegradable and compostable packaging could be a good solution to packaging waste and environmental issues.
This prevents the material to end up in landfills and may be reused effectively as plant fertilizer. All these initiatives are a big step in reducing the impact on the environment and ensure a healthy living.
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