1. Design for Recycling
In order to be recycled, post-consumer packaging has to fulfill a long list of requirements (e.g., separability, cleanliness, labeling, and coloration). Manufacturers trying to fulfill those requirements may have to use more material and energy when they produce the packaging than they have done up until now.
Designing for recycling is certainly imperative to future-proof one’s business, our economy, and humanity itself. But first, we need to ensure recyclability equals recycling, preferably in a closed-loop system.
2. Design for Reuse
Reuse is more difficult to envision than recycling given our current mindset. It requires us to move away from the way we currently handle packaging—tearing open and throwing away or recycling.
A recent screening study highlighted that a current version of a reusable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bag carries a much higher impact than its single-use alternative. So much so that you would need to use the reusable bag at least 50 times to make it more sustainable. Manufacturers should therefore ensure that reuse is realistic in the actual customer setting and that that behavior actually compensates for any added impact in the material design changes. Manufacturers also need to calculate the additional impact of transporting, washing, sanitizing (possibly even tracking), and refilling those reusable containers.
Our suggestion: Increasing reuse is a must-win battle for optimizing resources and drastically reducing waste. However, companies need to use eco-design and life-cycle thinking (systems thinking) and push for the infrastructure of scale with a massive customer base to make the transition truly environmentally sound.
3. Replace Plastics With Bioplastics
Another trend on the rise is the increased use of bioplastics to replace fossil-fuel-based plastics. People tend to equate bioplastics with biodegradable or compostable, but they are not necessarily either of those. While bioplastics are certainly interesting substitutes (identical in many of their physical and technical properties to their fossil-based counterparts), using them might only shift the environmental burden by reducing the carbon footprint while increasing acidification, the water footprint, or other environmental impacts. We also have to keep in mind that introducing bioplastics may only alleviate the plastic problem, not solve it. An ingested bioplastic bag may still choke whales and other marine life.
4. Replace Plastics With Paper
Paper is even more frequently suggested as a substitute for plastic packaging than bioplastics (for example, paper cups and bags). However, currently available data suggests that paper packaging generally requires several times more mass to fulfill the same function as its plastic counterpart. As a result, the overall environmental impact tends to be higher for paper, except for its carbon footprint. So again, this is a case of burden-shifting: reducing carbon footprint, but increasing impacts such as acidification and eutrophication. Additionally, replacing plastic with paper could likely give us a serious supply problem. If we were to replace all plastics with paper, we must either cut down more forests or find areas for reforestation. The latter would be a double benefit, of course, but do we actually have space? Current data suggests that we still have a net loss of forests worldwide and that we are more likely to lose possible reforestation areas to other pressing needs, such as the expansion of cities and towns, agriculture, and industry.
5. Reduce and Remove Packaging
Reducing and ultimately removing packaging from products, such as from bulk food items, is a lucrative way of minimizing the materials in circulation and ultimately the environmental impact of packaging. However, as was so beautifully demonstrated with the now-famous example of the shrink-wrapped cucumber, we should not exclude the purpose of packaging when we assess its environmental impact. If the packaging fails to fulfill its primary purpose of safeguarding the product’s quality, the product may go to waste, and the environmental impact of a wasted product is, in general, far higher than that of the avoided packaging material.
6. Shift to Mono-Materials
Laminates and composite packaging from multiple materials constitute one of the biggest hurdles to achieving recyclability (not recycling itself, for which the biggest problem is collection and infrastructure). So manufacturers have made considerable effort to shift to mono-material packaging (laminates included). The risk here is that mono-material solutions can end up decidedly heavier and bulkier than their composite alternatives and may need other additives. The reason is simple, companies use aluminum layers in laminates because of their insulative properties that—when replaced by plastics or paper—require thicker layers and, ultimately, also more mass.
7. Why is Amiba company always the first choice?
- More than 30 years of experience in the plastic and complex film packaging industry
- Provide products with high quality
- Large production capacity
- Cost savings
- Large warehouse system, fast delivery
- Diverse payment policy
- Being a close partner of many large companies and large enterprises
- Staff dedicated to the job
- The production environment is safe for humans and the environment
Amiba company’s products are widely used by ensuring quality management, environmental protection, and integrated ISO standards:
– It has been assessed and certified to meet the requirements of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Codex Alimentarius
– It has been assessed and certified to meet the requirements of Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000
– It has been assessed and certified to meet the requirements of ISO 22000: 2018
– It has been assessed and certified to meet the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015
If you need to learn more about laminated film packaging, or need advice regarding placing an order or getting a price quotation, please call now +84 796 290 555 for the best support.
Address: Lot 8, Street Number 16, Viet Nam-Singapore II-A Industrial Park, Tan Uyen Town, Binh Duong Province, Viet Nam.
Office Tower: 25 Ngo Quyen Street, Ward 10, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 796 290 555