What is Eco-Friendly Packaging & Why Should Companies Use It?
It's no secret that the materials found in the packaging we see on a daily basis are extremely harmful to the environment. Some examples of packaging include food containers such as styrofoam, plastic wrappers and water bottles to the polymailers and plastic bags included in our clothing, shoes, and accessories when we purchase them. Overall- we're surrounded by packaging sometimes more so than the actual products themselves.
As efforts towards environmentalism and the reduction of greenhouse gases progressed over time, it became quite obvious that both the production and disposal of primarily plastic based packaging needed to be drastically reduced, and ideally eliminated. Plastics are very stable, thus remain on earth for quite some time. Decomposition time is additionally reduced by anti-oxidants used to enhance certain containers resistance to acidic contents (chemical cleaners, food, etc). The chemical burden placed upon the environment by packaging was revealed in EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data showing that most of the toxic substances were released into the air from packaging, contributing to over 14% of the national total.
Initiatives began in 2007 towards waste reduction by promoting the 7 "R's" of sustainable packaging. These include remove, reduce, reuse, recycle, renew, revenue, and read. For both companies, and individuals being environmentally conscious not only helps the planet, but saves money as well. Plastic bag bans began to come about ten years later, though taking quite some time to be adopted in different countries.
This leads us directly back to the original question- what is eco-friendly packaging and why should it be the default option for companies packaging needs? Put simply, eco-friendly or sustainable packaging is described as safe, biodegradable (compostable), beneficial and healthy throughout the lifecycle. It is also sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy. Corrugated cardboard and other forms of recycled paper based packages are usually considered amongst the most sustainable option.
SHOPUBBI strives to follow the reduce, reuse, recycle mentality not only with our business model of reusing clothes, shoes, and accessories yet also with carbon neutral shipping options and compostable packaging. Our packaging from TishWish is corn based, and 100% compostable and biodegradable for home or industrial compost. It takes 3-6 months to disappear completely in soil compared to the 500 years regular plastic takes to leave the environment.
Overall, our priorities include minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing/eliminating waste completely, improving marine plastic pollution, eliminating the use and emission of chemicals known to cause harm as well as minimize our reliance on fossil fuels. We can only hope and encourage other companies to do the same - for the sake of planet Earth.
Sustainable Packaging and your business. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2022, from https://www.ecoenclose.com/sustainable-packaging-and-your-business/
Sustainability. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2022, from https://tishwish.com/pages/sustainability
PTF: Environmental impacts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2022, from https://ecologycenter.org/plastics/ptf/report3/