What are Eco Friendly Packaging Materials?

Eco conscious packaging is incredibly important as we as individuals and business look to lessen the waste we produce and what waste enters the landfills. There are several initiatives on this front such as rightsized packaging and reusable packaging, but what about the packaging material itself? Eco friendly packaging materials tend to be grouped into three major categories: recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.

Recyclable Packaging Material

Recyclable packaging is what most of us as consumers are familiar with. Most of use recycle our cans and bottles from the comfort of our home, but we must take further action. More recently, there have been larger strides to recycle other packaging material such as packaging film and bags. This type of recycling is a bit more difficult as it cannot be recycled from your home, this type of recycling requires special location drop offs but due to companies that can benefit from recycling this type of waste more options are becoming available. Trex is one such company and has put together both a practical solution of adding drop off zones, but also educational programs to teach our youth. Our hope is that more manufactures that use post-consumer recyclables (PCR) move in similar direction as Trek has so we can improve the amount of packaging film that gets recycled.

Compostable Packaging Material

Compostable packaging is packaging that has been certified as being able to be added to compost facilities so that the material degrades into organic matter. It isn’t just the packaging material itself that needs to be certified as compostable, but all the elements that make up the packaging including ink used on the packaging design. Due to this certification process, compostable packaging material can bring a higher cost, but it also comes with the benefit of being able to breakdown and give back to the earth without producing harmful emissions. It is important as consumers to look for the identification symbol on the packaging so that these products can be deposed of properly, as they cannot be added to recycling.

Biodegradable Packaging Material

Biodegradable packaging material means that the product will break down into carbon dioxide. Similar to compostable packaging materials they must be deposed of properly as if you add biodegradable material into a landfill and is covered there will not be enough oxygen to allow for the product to biodegrade properly or in a timely manner. Biodegradable materials do take longer to break down than compostable materials, but again both must be disposed of properly.

Consumers are taking the time to consider and purchase from brands that are moving towards more ecofriendly practices so although these materials may come at a slightly higher cost there is value and benefit to adjusting to this strategy. Contact us for a free consultation on the right packaging solution for your business.