Sep 01, 2014

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

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Eco friendly packaging solutionsDue to the accelerated increase of waste generation, many organizations have made it their goal to promote environmental awareness. Manufacturing plants have also started doing their share for the preservation of the environment and many have opted to implement environmentally friendly packaging for their products.


Green packaging, sustainable packaging, eco-friendly packaging are just a few of the names to refer to packaging that has been manufactured with consideration of the environment. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a leader in promoting environmental packaging. They support packaging materials derived from recycled sources as well as clean and green manufacturing processes.


More companies are now utilizing green packaging in order to minimize the waste materials that pile up in landfills. Some of these manufacturing companies have turned to biodegradable packaging as well which can break down under normal environmental conditions.


Biodegradable Plastics


Some products that require the use of plastics for packaging now use biodegradable plastics that are made from natural sources such as potatoes, corn and wheat. These plastics are also known as bioplastics, which were engineered to break down easily when exposed to decomposing agents. Choosing products with biodegradable packaging will surely help reduce landfill waste.


Recycled Packaging


A manufacturer may use pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled materials or both. Pre-consumer recycled packaging means that the packaging materials contain some recycled content. These materials may include corrugated cartons, glass, steel, paperboard or some plastics.


Post-consumer recycled content means that the consumer may recycle the packaging after use. Due to the improvements in quality, the availability and the cost advantage, many companies are now using paperboard packaging with post-consumer recycled content. Today over 50% of supermarket packaging contains recycled paperboard.


Natural Packaging


Today coconut husks are an alternative material to be used for packaging. The husk is strong and has a low water absorption rate. Whole Tree, which was founded by Baylor University in Texas, is now developing coconut composites to serve various purposes. These composites are used for restaurant to-go boxes and other packaging materials. In fact, coconut based packing materials are stronger when compared to conventional packaging. These do not use chemical binders and other additives, making them good compostable materials.


Utilizing coconut husks for environmental packaging also helps in improving the lives of coconut farmers. The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community or APCC, is now gearing towards better awareness on the different uses of coconut trees.




(2010) Eco-friendly Packaging. Retrieved August 5, 2010

(2010) Zero Waste: A New Systems Approach Gaining Global Ground. Retrieved August 5, 2010

(2010) Definition of Sustainable Packaging. Retrieved August 5, 2010

(2010) Coconuts could be the Next Sustainable Packaging Trend. Retrieved August 5, 2010

(2010) Environmental Packaging. Retrieved August 5, 2010

(2010) Image by Salvatore Vuono


4 comments

  • Comment Link Jonny Tuesday, 15 March 2011 09:46 posted by Jonny

    All packaging is not created equal. Take corrugated (cardboard) boxes, for example, the amount of recycled content can vary greatly. "Nicer" boxes have less recycled material. They tend to have a shinier finish, feel firmer, and the tape sticks to it better (due to the longer virgin fibers). Today, due to limitations on deforestation and such, nearly all boxes are made with at least a fraction of recycled content. The only exceptions are those with specs for specialty applications like medical or aerospace.

  • Comment Link Louise Kelton Wednesday, 06 April 2011 08:56 posted by Louise Kelton

    When we think about packaging, it's not just the container that the product comes in. It's also all the stuff inside to keep it from getting damaged. Think foam peanuts. Much more environmentally friendly than peanuts and shredded paper is air pouches. They fill the space with air instead of foam or paper. And, they can be made of recycled/recyclable film. On top of that, how much easier they are to use and how much less waste they create.

  • Comment Link Scott Hensley Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:40 posted by Scott Hensley

    Take a company such as Distant Village who incorporates a concept similar to the cradle to cradle perspective, considering the origin and development of raw materials used, the sustainable design, the use of the packaging and the ultimate re-use of the packaging for other purposes, giving it a longer life-span to minimize waste. The company’s environmental impact is minimized during the extraction and use of raw materials, conversion to finished goods, and waste material avoided or delayed. The majority of the packaging produced by the company comes from abundant and renewable natural materials, natural plant fibers from invasive species of plants, and reclaimed waste.
    This is an example of how a great environmentally friendly company using the most natural methods possible.

  • Comment Link Charlotte Thursday, 30 May 2013 01:33 posted by Charlotte

    Natural packaging is really the best option. You can also get packaging made from Bagasse which is a byproduct of the sugar cane industry. It is made from a waste product.

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