Sustainability creates and supports conditions under which nature and humans can co-exist in productive unity and maintain a balance, allowing us all to fulfil the socioeconomic requirements of the present and future generations.
Sustainability is the capacity to withstand in an ongoing way various aspects of life, and as such, humans must take the first step to lead a sustainable life if they want to reduce the harm caused to the environment.
Due to its high environmental impact, the packaging industry is one of the most crucial sectors with regard to sustainability. And this is where sustainable and eco-friendly packaging comes to play.
Here are a few top reasons why we must care about sustainable packaging.
- Universal plastic trash
Nearly 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste are produced across the world, according to the Jambeck journal. Of these, around 8 million metric tons enter the oceans, endangering aquatic life. The United Nations (UN) Environment Program states that by the end of 2050, the ocean will have more plastic than fish.
Only 9% of the world’s total plastic is recycled, the rest will take 50 to 400 years to degrade. This serious concern forced the UN to deal with waste disposal in the right way.
It is also a major health concern for humans as plastic breaks down into microplastics and gets into our bodies through various food streams.
- Restricted resources
Plastic is obtained from crude oil. There is a need to find ways to manage and use the oil resources effectively rather than create more single-use plastic packaging, as the crude reserves would get exhausted in the future.
We need to find sources with bio-based, reusable energy and other natural resources that are easily reusable and biodegradable, helping maintain a balance in the environment.
- Landfill gas
A natural after-product of decomposed organic material in landfills, landfill gas, contains 50% methane — the primary natural gas component — a limited amount of non-methane organic compounds and 50% carbon dioxide.
Methane is a powerful gas that traps heat 28 to 36 times more effectively than carbon dioxide. In 2018, the United States generated more than 35.7 million tons of plastic, which was 12.2% of its municipal solid waste (MSW) production.
How do we part in the sustainable packaging campaign?
Brand owners and product manufacturers can build a sustainable operating system. As end users, we can start by replacing single-use plastic with recyclable packaging for shopping bags or daily requirements.
Reusing containers for storing food or beverages and reducing bottled drinking water can be another step toward sustainability.
As consumers become more aware of plastic’s dangers, many companies are developing environment-friendly packaging.
A leading pulp and paper company, App Sinar Mas, has introduced an innovative eco-friendly solution in the food and beverage packing sector. Companies like these, with the support of people, can make the environment safe and sustainable.