The Right Material for Your Sustainable Packaging
In our previous blog entry, we took a very brief look at how the recycling process works, as well as the benefit it has for our environment. At Flex-Pack, our focus on being green and eco-friendly means that we have not only an understanding of the recycling process but also a dedication to using sustainable packaging materials. Sustainability is a more recent, but no less important element of being environmentally friendly and mindful of waste production and disposal. This entry takes a quick look at how these materials are sourced.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
Sustainability is a hugely important part of being eco-friendly. But what does “sustainable” mean? It is certainly a term you have probably seen a lot, but not many of the labels or product descriptions that carry this word will give you a definition. The simple, dictionary definition of the word “sustainable” is the steady supply or rate of something that does not increase or decrease but remains consistent.
When applied to production of materials of packaging, sustainability takes on another dimension, as this idea of being able to maintain a steady supply comes with the connotation of reducing the strain on the environment, by making it easier to source a consistent, continuous supply of manufacturing materials without having to do further damage to seek out more.
How Do You Create Sustainability?
Most plastic material is made from raw materials like petroleum or oil and natural gas, as we have covered previously. Mining this material from the earth takes time, money and a lot of resources and is, ultimately, not sustainable. Eventually, a well will run dry, and further drilling will have to be carried out elsewhere to find a new source. But, an extensive reuse and recycling method, using or making materials or products focused on the ability to be used repeatedly, or be recycled after use, means the sustainability of what goes into making them goes much further – as now the reliance on those initial sources is greatly reduced.
The design of sustainable packaging is also important to how much they benefit the environment. The way we design packaging at Flex-Pack is done with this sustainability in mind – using fewer materials and doing everything we can to make our manufacturing process as efficient as it can be. Using commonly recycled materials and cutting down the number of different materials used in a single design are both effective ways to decrease waste. It is also important to consider the ratio of product to packaging – the smaller or less of a product there is, the less product packaging there needs to be, which also helps consumers save space. This also counts for the simplicity of packaging, which not only helps the environment but makes things easier for the consumer.
Like almost all kinds of manufacturing – product packaging or otherwise – perhaps the single most effective way of enforcing sustainability is to plan ahead thoroughly, taking into account the materials needed (and not needed), how much packaging is really needed, and encouraging the end-consumer to recycle it, as well as making it as easy as possible for them to do so. Remember that sustainable packaging is not just about the manufacturing side of things – encouraging our end-users to recycle products is also important. Displaying and explaining the philosophy of sustainability is almost as important as practicing in reducing pollution and the use of natural resources.
Sustainable Packaging In the Future – Education and Careers
Sustainable packaging is becoming an industry in itself. Studying sustainability is now being offered as a course at colleges and universities, preparing people to move into careers specifically geared towards discovering new, effective and interesting ways to maintain the supply or recyclable reusable materials. Flex-Pack is always looking for new methods of making it easier on the environment to provide high-quality, sustainable packaging for food, seafood, supplements, pet food and much more.