Can Biodegradable Packaging Work for All Businesses?
Climate change and global warming continue to change how society looks at the status quo. More people are becoming self-aware, recognizing their choices affect the whole world instead of just themselves. As views on the consumption of fossil fuel change, so does the public perception of single-use plastics. These plastics are typically discarded after use, finding their way to landfills and adding to the global environmental problem.
The good news is there’s a better alternative and people are embracing its use now more than ever. Biodegradable packaging uses materials that are broken down quickly by microorganisms. Unlike plastics — which never really go away — biodegradable materials can decompose in a year if disposed of properly.
Biodegradable Packaging for Sustainability
Businesses should consider using biodegradable materials instead of plastics and participate in the race to save the environment. There are many types of eco-friendly options they can use in their operations, including the following five.
1. Recycled Cardboard and Paper Packaging
Cardboard and paper packaging are widely used in many industries, from food to electronics. Recycled cardboard and paper boxes are popular among businesses due to their versatility and sustainability, as they can be recycled multiple times. Using recycled paper and cardboard products help global reforestation efforts that support healthy ecosystems.
2. Recycled Air Pillows
Polystyrene bans have become popular worldwide to curtail their damaging environmental effects. One good alternative for foam packaging is recycled air pillows. These come in different sizes to fill packaging boxes adequately.
3. Biodegradable Packaging Peanuts
Another substitute for polystyrene is biodegradable peanuts. Companies should consider this eco-friendly alternative to foam, as it can protect products from shock and accidental bumps while in transit. Biodegradable peanuts are more affordable than foam peanuts, so that’s another point to consider.
4. Cornstarch Packaging
Cornstarch packaging is a more sustainable alternative to plastic-based traditional packaging. Since it’s an organic material, it’s a better eco-friendly choice. Cornstarch has plastic-like properties, making it a good choice for bottles, loose-film packaging and other molded forms.
5. Cellulose Wrappers
Cellulose film made from wood or cotton is biodegradable and durable. It has a decomposition period of 30–60 days when buried or composted. Biodegradable cellulose film can replace plastic bags, pouches and pockets typically used in the food industry.
Can All Businesses Use Biodegradable Packaging?
Companies in all industries will undoubtedly find a biodegradable alternative to their traditional packaging. From boxes and pouches to molded containers and wrappers, there are biodegradable packaging options for all types of use.
Hopefully, single-use plastic packaging will be a thing of the past sooner than later. The development of biodegradable packaging will only improve in the coming years and it’s already making headway in various industries like fabrics used for skincare, eco-friendly plates, and bottles.
In Colombia, a local company uses discarded pineapple crowns mixed with paper pulp to create compostable plates. A similar approach is also being adopted in India to integrate sugar cane pulp into manufacturing a variety of tableware, including plates, trays, bowls and cutlery.
This proves people are now more open to using biodegradable materials than ever to support a more sustainable future.
Why Should Companies Use Biodegradable Packaging?
Many worry about the high initial costs of going green, but doing so has many corporate and ecological benefits to consider:
- Better for the environment: Using recycled materials instead of virgin plastics helps significantly reduce the harmful impact of plastic waste on the environment. Less plastic in landfills means less plastic going to water sources and entire ecosystems.
- Supports a circular economy: Circular economies constantly regenerate and reuse materials. Compared to single-use packaging, biodegradable packaging helps maximize the life span of materials and products.
- A sustainable alternative to plastic packaging: Single-use plastics made with traditional materials take hundreds of years to degrade. When they do, they just disintegrate into smaller bits of plastic that find their way into the world’s oceans. Biodegradable packaging is the opposite, as it breaks down easily for recycling.
- Improves brand image: People love supporting businesses concerned about the environment. Using eco-friendly materials in products helps boost brand image and environmental awareness.
- Can reduce production costs: Reusing containers and using recycled materials for packaging help cut production costs and increase a company’s bottom line.
Incorporate Sustainable Packaging Today
Though many organizations hesitate to adopt green practices, doing so can help a business stand out. Consider using sustainable packaging to entice eco-friendly customers, improve your bottom line and — most importantly — benefit the environment.