28.1% of the annual municipal solid garbage created is made up of product packaging. That equates to about 83 million tons of garbage every year. However, the most alarming aspect is that these numbers are now around four times larger than they were in 1960.
There are no indications that the popularity of e-commerce will ever decline, and this packaging waste trend is only expected to grow. It's not all terrible, gloomy, and dismal, though. With a few little adjustments to your packaging procedures, it is possible to reduce the packaging effect of your company.
Priority should be given to paying attention to and comprehending the origin of your packaging, as well as what happens to it once your clients discard it. Additionally, you must take into account the carbon footprint of your packaging materials during shipping and storage.
Once you are aware of these things, you may work to use materials that are more environmentally friendly across the full lifecycle of your package.
There are three main methods by which product packaging is created: using virgin materials, partially recycled materials, or entirely recycled materials.
In most cases, it is preferable to avoid using virgin materials because this means using fewer new resources from the start. That, however, is not always possible. If you must use virgin materials, we recommend paying close attention to their origin.
Is the paper used for sustainable logging operations? They could be made from banana peels or potatoes. Plant-based packaging may cause more harm than good because it may necessitate the destruction of vital forests to make more room for those plants to grow. In any case, do your homework to ensure you're making the best decision.
Materials that have been partially recycled are the most common and easiest to find. The majority of our cardboard products are made from recycled materials, with our 100% recycled Kraft corrugated cardboard for Econoflex boxes having the highest percentages. Click here for corrugated box kraft.
Endpoints of Materials
Regardless of where your materials originate, you should pay close attention to where they end up after consumers have finished with them.
The best sustainable materials are available for end-user recycling, reuse, or composting. If you choose compostable packaging, you should think about how long it will take for the material to degrade over time. The shorter the sentence, the better.
However, keep in mind that some materials may require industrial-grade recycling or composting, which cannot be done at home. In that case, many users will probably throw it away rather than take it somewhere, so it's best to avoid those materials if possible.
Furthermore, certain external treatments and finishes make recycling or composting impossible. Coatings, printing methods, and combining multiple materials all play a role in how easy it is to dispose of your product packaging sustainably.
Carbon Footprint of Transportation and Warehousing
Despite being easily overlooked, carbon emissions during transportation and warehousing are an important factor to consider. In a nutshell, the amount of space something takes up before you use it is important. For example, packing peanuts are large and take up a lot of space. As a result, fewer items can be packed into the delivery truck, increasing the carbon footprint of those peanuts. Furthermore, they take up a lot of shelf space. Warehouses require electricity and resources to function properly. As a result, the greater the number of items that can fit inside, the lower the carbon footprint for each material.