There are many types of eco-friendly packaging materials around us. Some are better than others in terms of how they affect the environment. The same stands true for their price range. Some manufacturers prefer one material over another as its pricing is under their budget. Some are economical because they are recyclable.
All that might be confusing for some of the newbies. That is why we hav brought you the informative blog post about the various sustainable packaging materials you can use with complete peace of mind.
Consider the following types of eco-friendly materials for packaging. This list with essential details will help you choose the one that is best for your next business venture. If you love the environment, consider incorporating one of the following into your business’s packaging strategy.
List of 11 Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials
Choosing eco-friendly packaging can be challenging, but to help you make that choice, we’ve compiled the following list of some of the most popular eco-friendly packaging materials available today.
1. Compostable Bags
Compostable bags are made from vegetable matter, like potatoes, corn, and sugarcane. They are also biodegradable and compostable, which means they will break down in a commercial composting facility.
This type of packaging is a good option for all types of products. However, these bags only work well for bulky items. You can also use them to pack an item before putting it in a box. Whatever the case, it will not only keep your bulky items safe but also the environment.
Moreover, these can also be used afterward for garbage and other such materials. In short, these bags are no less than a blessing for the packaging industry.
2. Glass Based Packagings
Glass is one of the best green packaging materials that does not come from plants. It can be created in various shapes, including square and rectangular. Glass packaging has been used for over 6,000 years and is still popular today.
The main downside to Glass is that it’s heavy and expensive. It also does not provide much protection from accidental drops or bumps. As a result, the most abundant use of glass is in the cosmetics and beauty industry.
Also known as recycled paper pulp, cardboard is a heart-favorite packaging material. Customized boxes are often paperboard, including recycled contents and new materials. However, the best durable shape we see them in is no other than the cardboard itself. It is the primary recyclable and sustainable material used in the packaging industry.
The most beautiful part of that sort of material choice is that it can be shaped into many other reinforced materials; for example, various delicate layers of cardboard can be pasted to form the rigid material used for luxury packaging manufacturing.
Kraft is the mother of all biodegradable packaging material around us. No other sustainable mater can compete with Kraft in any sense. That s the material we use to create fully favorable boxes for the environment.
Kraft has become a whole new form of the packaging industry. Though it is just in the gray form, we can put design innovations in function to create new styles and shapes of Kraft. Whatever we make of it, in the end, it will be biodegradable and become a part of this ecosystem again.
5. Waxed Paper
The waxed paper has a natural wax coating that provides an excellent barrier to moisture and oxygen, making it the perfect material for all sorts of food packaging.
This is because the various food items need to be fresh. When they come into contact with air, they can develop mold, ultimately affecting the flavor. The waxed paper prevents this by creating a protective seal.
The waxed paper also has a high resistance to heat, making it very durable in high-temperature environments like coffee shops or cafes where hot drinks are often served.
Plus, because of its delicate nature, it is lightweight and inexpensive, which can help save on shipping costs since fewer materials are used in packaging.
6. Plant-Based Plastics
The newest eco-friendly packaging material is plant-based plastics. These bioplastics are made from renewable resources, including corn and sugar cane, and are 100% compostable. This means they’ll decompose in a commercial composting facility in less than three months.
They’re also 100% recyclable, so when you purchase plant-based plastics, you can feel confident that they will have a complete life cycle of being reused. Another benefit to this type of plastic is that it’s flexible–perfect for the clamshell containers used by retail brands like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market.
7. Bamboo Based Packaging
Bamboo is quickly becoming a popular eco-friendly packaging material because it’s sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable. It is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth. It sometimes grows up to four feet per day, much more than traditional paper. That makes it readily available for all sorts of packaging needs.
The organic attributes also make it an ideal choice for lightweight boxes. You can also use it to make food wrappers, utensils, and containers of various sizes. It’s also more durable than paper and can be recycled up to six times before it starts losing its properties.
8. Ecological or Compostable Paper
These papers are made from 100% post-consumer waste materials and take significantly less energy. They’re also made without additives or dyes that could cause harm to people or animals.
The great thing about it is that it will break down into naturally dissolvable matter after you dispose of it. That is the reason for the name compostable paper. It usually comes from carrots, corn, and other such pulps.
All that plant-based material makes it an ideal selection for eco-friendly packaging material.
Cork is one of the most eco-friendly packaging materials. It’s sustainable and renewable, unlike plastic or paper. It’s also biodegradable and recyclable. Cork is a natural product that comes from a tree. The bark on the tree is peeled off and cut into small pieces for use in packaging, flooring, insulation, etc.
There are some drawbacks to a cork, though. Firstly, it doesn’t absorb liquids, so it can’t be used in things like wine bottles. Secondly, it can’t be cleaned with water, so you have to clean it with soap and water, making it lose shape over time.
Lastly, cork trees grow, so they might need help to keep up with the production demand since they need at least thirty years before they’re ready for harvest.
10. Recycled or Sustainable Wood
Wood is a natural, sustainable, and recyclable material. It’s also biodegradable and can be made from various wood sources, from reclaimed lumber to bamboo. However, some concerns about using formaldehyde in these products may pose a health risk.
It is also not easy to recycle or reuse wood as its shape makes it hard to break down without additional energy. Finally, the surface area for printing on wood means you’re likely to find little decoration, making it an expensive option for small companies looking for branding.
11. Plant-Based Polyurethane Rigid Foam
One of the most popular eco-friendly packaging materials is a plant-based polyurethane rigid foam. These foam boards are made from renewable, biodegradable ingredients and have high thermal insulation.
They are available in several thicknesses, including 3mm, 6mm, 12mm, and 20mm, with densities ranging between 30 kg/m3 and 60 kg/m3. In addition, plant-based polyurethane board has a low carbon footprint because it contains no fossil fuel material.
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