Benefits Of Using Green Packaging
We recently had a look at green packaging as an alternative to plastic packaging, and listed some sustainable swaps that you can make. In this blog, we are going to delve a little deeper into the importance of choosing green packaging. As well as the reduced impact on the environment, there are lots of other benefits of using green packaging for both consumers and the environment.
What is green packaging?
Green packaging, sometimes referred to as sustainable packaging, is the use of both materials and manufacturing techniques that require less energy. Green packaging solutions include biodegradable and recyclable materials over materials such as plastic and Styrofoam. Green manufacturers take steps within their processes to reduce their power output, and the levels of greenhouse emissions produced.
Types of green packaging
The biodegradable materials used within green packaging can vary, but here are some of the most common ones used at the moment:
1. Starch-based biomaterial
In the last decade or so, the US in particular have seen a rise in the increase of cornstarch-based packaging. It has many of the same properties as plastic, but it is made from corn and therefore much more eco-friendly. Cornstarch is very versatile – it can be used to create fizzy drink bottles, as well as loose-fill packaging.
2. Corrugated bubble wrap
You may have seen in our what packaging materials you can recycle blog, that bubble wrap is difficult to recycle unless you have a specific recycling service for it locally. Therefore, it often ends up in landfills. Corrugated bubble wrap is a perfect alternative. The corrugated cardboard is scored to create a crushing surface, and then repurposed as protective packaging.
3. Mushroom-based packaging
This sounds like a more adventurous alternative, but it has actually proven to be successful in the commercial packaging industry in particular. Mushroom-based packaging uses agricultural waste, held together by mushroom roots. Even IKEA are using it!
4. Recycled cardboard and paper
Whilst recycled cardboard and paper aren’t particularly innovative, they still have their place in the green packaging market. They are often made from 100% recycled materials, and are sourced sustainably. Making them the perfect choice as they have a low impact on the environment, and are also biodegradable.
5. Post-consumer recycled plastics
Post-consumer recycled plastics are derived from products that have completed their lifecycle as a consumer item and can be reused. Whilst they are not actually biodegradable products, they help reduce the need to generate new plastic. Petroleum is used to create plastic, which of course uses lots of energy to break down. Not to mention the carbon emissions and greenhouses gases produced throughout the process. Post-consumer recycled plastics are an environmentally-friendly alternative, which is better than nothing.
6. Organic fabrics
We are seeing an increase in the use of organic fabrics to replace plastic bags and containers. Things like hemp, flax, recycled cotton and even palm leaves are great alternatives. With a much faster rate of biodegradation, they are incredibly eco-friendly. Natural fabrics usually take ⅕ of the time to biodegrade in comparison with plastic bags.
Benefits of green packaging
So why is sustainable packaging so important? Let’s have a look at some of the wide range of benefits that it offers:
- Green packaging aims to use as little energy from fossil fuels as possible, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of packaging manufacturing.
- By designing minimal packaging, there is a reduced consumption of natural resources – helping to preserve the planet for longer.
- By increasing the recycling of post-consumer materials, less energy is wasted on creating brand new packaging.
- Green packaging uses more energy-efficient manufacturing methods, rather than relying on fossil fuels. Wind & solar energy are most commonly used to manufacture green packaging.
- Instead of using paper derived from cutting trees down, some green packaging manufacturers use paper that comes from agricultural fibres.
- With the increased awareness of the damage that plastic is having on our oceans, choosing alternative sources of packaging can really help to reduce the damage to marine life.
So there you have it, those are just some of the benefits of using green packaging and why here at Quickbox we are dedicated to producing the greenest packaging solutions that we can. By manufacturing bespoke cardboard boxes tailored to your product, the amount of waste packaging is instantly reduced. Head over to our instant box calculator today for a quote within minutes. Or alternatively, call our expert team on 01469 310041 and they will be more than happy to assist you.