Annually, tons of used up packaging materials are disposed by people around the world. The disposal of these wrappings has a large influence on the pollution of the environment that we live in. Of all packaging materials, traditional wrappings such as plastic bottles and containers are the number one polluter. Nevertheless, there are numerous traditional packaging materials out there that are highly sustainable. Hereby you can think for instance about cardboard boxes or small metal containers.
Nowadays, corporate sustainability involves so much more than using recyclable or environmentally friendly packaging materials. There are numerous ways for an organization to be sustainable. Nevertheless, the packaging material that a company chooses for its products is often still used to judge the organization’s overall sustainability. People around the world are becoming more and more aware of the negative impacts that different types of wrappings have on the environment. Due to this, it has never been more important for a company to pick the right type of (environmentally friendly) packaging material for their products.
Because of the increasing global awareness, modern companies are always in the search of better and more sustainable packaging materials. Below, a closer look will be given at three of the most innovative and sustainable wrappings that we find when shopping for our everyday groceries.
Metal Tins and Tin Containers
First, let’s start off with a classic. Tin containers have been around ever since the early 1800’s. Although there might be nothing fancy about this type of wrapping, it is still worth mentioning that metal tins are, still today, one of the most sustainable packaging materials available.
Tin containers and aluminum cans have one of the highest recycling rates of all packaging materials out there. In fact, both small and large metal tins are 100% recyclable. It is furthermore worth mentioning that, when being recycled, the quality of metal containers does not go down. Thanks to this, these wrappings literally have an unlimited life cycle. Recent studies have shown that the recycling of metal packaging materials saves the global economy annually billions of Dollars. This has a massive positive influence on both our wallet and the environment – making metal tins one of the most sustainable wrappings in any possible way.
What else sets metal tins apart from other packaging materials is the fact that they are highly affordable. Fancy modern day sustainable packaging materials often are difficult and expensive to produce. Tin containers, on the other hand, are extremely cheap. Added to that, metal tins are fully customizable which makes them a great and cheap packaging options for companies of any size. These colorful custom tin boxes can be found back particularly in the foods and cosmetics industries where they offer an attractive, cheap, and environmentally friendly wrapping to both small and large companies alike.
Now, let’s move on to something fancier. Plastic is known around the world as one of the biggest polluters of our environment. In order to fight this pollution, Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest beverage company, started to work on the development of a sustainable plastic wrapping almost a decade ago. The result: plant-based bio plastics.
Coco-Cola’s first bio plastic bottle earned itself the name of the ‘’PlantBottle’’. This revolutionary wrapping replaced one of the most chemical components needed to produce PET plastic (mono-ethylene glycol) with a renewable and plant-based substance produced by using sugar cane. As a result, this new type of plastic introduced us to a way to pack our beverages that is not only better for the environment but also saver for our health. An added bonus was the fact that the recycling level of this new bio plastic was exactly the same as that of its predecessor. This allows us to recycle and reuse our bottles and containers numerous times – further decreasing its impact on the environment.
Throughout the past decades, the introduction of Bio Plastics has been one of the most important developments in the packaging industry. Ever since 2009, more and more companies started to focus on the development of sustainable packaging materials. This has significantly increased our awareness of the dangers that traditional petroleum based plastic wrappings bring along to our environment. Nowadays, an increasing amount of companies chooses to use Bio Plastics over traditional PET.
Although Bio Plastics might have been the most significant breakthrough in the sustainable packaging movement, it certainly is not the most unique. One of the more extraordinarily wrapping materials actually comes from Dell – a company that has been revolutionizing packaging applications throughout the past decades.
In the year 2009, Dell first started to use an unlikely natural material as a component for its boxes used to pack its notebooks – Bamboo. Many of us might not think about bamboo when considering a good alternative to replace traditional packaging materials. Nevertheless, this ultra-strong grass does in fact bring along plenty of opportunities when processed in the right way. Not only is it extremely strong and durable, it also is 100% natural. It furthermore is recyclable like paper and is certified as ‘’compostable’’ and are thus fully bio degradable.
With the introduction of bamboo packaging, Dell truly changed the way corporations look at packaging materials. However, Dell did not stop here. As of late, the company has developed a soft cushioning for the inside of its boxes that has been made from mushrooms. Similar to bamboo, their mushroom packaging is 100% bio degradable and natural. Thanks to Dell’s unique and sustainable wrappings materials, the company has managed to eliminate over 20.000.000 pounds of its own packaging waste since 2018. A staggering 75% of all packaging materials used by Dell is recyclable. This has earned to company a place among the most environmentally businesses on the globe.