What is the best packaging for the environment? While materials like glass are superior to plastic – what is the most environmentally friendly packaging available? When one-half of all municipal solid waste is packaging, environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging becomes very, very important.
28 Countries Have Laws to Minimize Waste
According to Ideal Bite, while twenty eight countries have laws designed to minimize their waste – the US is not one of them. If this concerns you, then contact your state Senator.
Product Packaging Waste
It seems like products keep getting smaller and smaller and yet the packaging around them either remains the same size or even sometimes grows. If you look around your local supermarket you can generally expect to see more plastic than glass. Looking around your local consumer electronics store you will find yourself virtually surrounded by plastic “clamshell” packaging.
Plastic Clamshell Packaging isn’t just Wasteful – It’s Dangerous!
According to a January 2008 article in Wired Magazine appropriately titled “Why Things Suck: Plastic Packaging,” Brendan I. Koerner states, “In 2004, nearly 6,500 Americans were admitted to emergency rooms with injuries sustained while trying to liberate portable CD players, memory cards, and Bratz dolls.” Why do manufacturers continue to use these obviously dangerous forms of packaging? They are invested in the technologies that create them and until enough consumer backlash exists they have no motivation to change.
Earth Friendly Packaging Options
Depending upon the type of product in question many people would be surprised to learn there are more than a few sustainable options. For food products, glass is far superior to plastic in long term sustainability. For the common clamshell packaging Koerner suggests we use Natralock which is “an easier-to-tear paperboard-and-plastic combo.” Due to the reduction in plastic use and the recyclability of paper it is easy to see why Natralock is a safer bet than the common clamshell package.
Creating the Ultimate Sustainable Packaging
While many product manufacturer’s are simply holding out for as long as they can to minimize their production costs, some environmentally aware manufacturers are already working to create the ultimate sustainable packaging.
Do What? You Want Me to Plant My Packaging?
Inspired while driving across the desert, Pangea Organics founder and CEO Joshua Onysko has created and is already selling products in packaging you can actually plant in your garden. The packaging itself is made of 100% postconsumer newsprint which to plant you’ll first need to thoroughly soak with water – it takes about a minute. After soaking, carefully plant the packaging in soil about an inch or so deep. After waiting a few weeks you will be rewarded with either Amaranth or Sweet Basil. Now that is awe-inspiring earth friendly packaging.
Packaging and the Waste it Creates Are a Serious Problem
When one-half of all municipal solid waste is packaging it should be clear to all we have a serious problem. As consumers we can use the dollars we spend each month to support companies that are proactively moving towards more sustainable packaging. Most manufacturers will be slow to move but just like Pangea Organics you can expect some forward thinking leaders to pave the way. Reduce waste and your carbon footprint by supporting these environmental leaders.