Why is Eco-Friendly Packaging Important?
Plastic pollution is one of the fastest-growing environmental challenges in the world today. It’s estimated that about 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. The most common type of plastic found in the ocean is food packaging such as grocery bags, food wrappers and drink bottles.
Plastic breaks down into smaller pieces called microplastics which ends up suffocating marine-life, and more recently in early 2022 was found in human blood for the first time. Sewage systems are often unable to capture these microplastics, so they end up in the ocean, animals and ultimately in our food supply chains.
Eco-Friendly Packaging Explained
Eco-friendly packaging has a positive impact from an environmental perspective and product sales as it appeals to customers who feel better products packed using eco-friendly packaging materials.
The three most popular types of eco-friendly packaging include green packaging, recyclable packaging, and biodegradable packaging.
Green Packaging: Green Packaging has been growing in popularity because of lower carbon emissions and less wastage which is an important factor, considering the high costs associated with landfill garbage disposal.
Green packaging uses recycled materials such as glass and paper, which means that they can be recycled or composted. They also contain less plastic and are lighter in weight for reduced transportation costs.
Recyclable Packaging: When most people think about recycling, they think about the items in their own home that they can recycle such as aluminium cans or paper. However, there are other materials that can be considered when designing product packaging. This type of package is made from material such as cardboard which can be recycled when they have reached their end of life.
Whilst plastic in cases can be easily recycled, it can only be recycled once or twice before it loses it’s practically commercial properties. Therefore it doesn’t form a true circular loop such as glass and aluminium which can be recycled indefinitely.
Biodegradable Packaging: Unlike other types of packaging, biodegradable packaging breaks down in the environment without any assistance, which means it does not harm animals or plants that are exposed to it. Biodegradable packaging is made up of natural materials that decompose with time. This makes them a healthier alternative to traditional wrappings like foil. Most biodegradable packages are made from compressed plant starches and oils like corn starch and soybean oil.
Saving in Production Costs
Packaging contributes significantly to production costs and while single-use plastic packaging is commonly used, eco-friendly packaging can lead to significant long-term savings in production costs.
For instance, pharmaceutical companies are now choosing eco-friendly packaging for collagen supplements and vitamins. Creating new packaging products from recycled resources can significantly save costs compared to developing new packaging materials.
Improving Brand Reputation
Awareness about the impact of climate change has more consumers seeking sustainable products. Environment conscious consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.
Businesses that are committed to marketing environmentally friendly products and invest in eco-friendly packaging are more likely to improve their brand reputation and sales.
Lower Delivery Costs
Innovative use of eco-friendly packaging can minimise shipping expenses for businesses.
Changing the form factor of packaging to reduce waste, such as extra weight and volume reduces shipping emissions, and costs too.
Often, these cost savings are passed onto consumers. That’s why at Tirtyl for example, all refills are shipped to customers with FREE shipping Australia-wide.
Encourages More Consumers to Go Green
One of the main reasons for the growing waste on the planet is the limited opportunities available for sustainable living. Most products are wrapped in single-use plastic or other non-reusable packaging.
If more companies invest in eco-friendly packaging, it will encourage more people to choose a greener lifestyle.
While consumers and governments are slowly adapting & changing, we encourage the private sector & businesses to take a stronger stance given their influential positions.
Health Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging
A Current Environmental Health Reports 2015 review suggested that chemicals which are used in plastic packaging cause allergic reactions, commonly from phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Eco-friendly material is generally non-toxic and the packaging is free from harmful chemicals.
Eco-friendly components used in packaging reassures consumers concerned about the impact of harmful chemicals coming in contact with their skin or digestive system that the business genuinely cares about their well-being.
While many companies have started shifting to greener packaging, they often don't go far enough. Tirtyl is committed to a better future for the planet by ensuring both products and packaging are eco-friendly. For example, the hand soap tablet wrappers are 100% home compostable and can be safely disposed of in the home or community compost or landfill. They decompose completely and don’t cause any damage to the earth. It’s a small but important way in which the business contributes to an environmentally safer future for the world.