What is Sustainable Packaging?
Sustainable packaging, also known as environmentally-friendly packaging, is a form of packaging made and designed with recycled or renewable materials. The materials of eco-friendly packaging are typically ensured to be safe for the environment and consumers worldwide.
Generally, sustainable food packaging is made from recycled materials that are safe and sustainable for the users and the environment and produces little to no environmental waste. Additionally, environmentally-friendly packaging is designed to optimise materials and energy and market criteria for performance and cost.
Types of Sustainable Packaging
Rigid Paperboard Container
At Sonoco, our rigid paperboard container is made from 100% recycled fibre and 85% post-consumer recycled content. Our paper-based packaging has high consumer appeal due to its sustainability and design. Suitable for recycling in the steel stream, this type of packaging can be tailored to product and supply chain needs across various markets.
Recycled and Reusable Packing Materials
Recycled cardboard is an industry-standard reusable packing material and made from earth-friendly organic materials. At Sonoco, we believe that using reusable packing material can instantly positively impact the environment, as millions of tons of cardboard boxes are thrown away as garbage every year.
Plastic, while environmentally-degrading, has long been the number one option for items that require extra support. Fortunately, you can easily use recycled plastic from other plastic materials that have been discarded if that is the case.
One of the organic materials that are widely used is mushroom packaging. With mushroom packaging, agricultural waste is added to mushroom roots to make organic packing materials. As it’s made from organic waste, this is an excellent biodegradable packaging option that won’t impact global food supplies!
Some businesses use plastic bags for packing the items, though this is very harmful to the environment. However, they can always opt for organic fabrics, which are an excellent sustainable packaging option to consider. These fabrics include recycled cotton, hemp, tapioca, palm leaves and more.
Benefits of Sustainable Food Packaging
Reduce Carbon Footprint
If it's made from recycled products, the carbon footprint of your packaging will be significantly reduced, eventually leading to a healthier environment. Typically, packaging made from natural materials such as paper or cardboard, the growth of such products draws carbon out of the environment. If you're looking to make your business carbon neutral, sustainable packaging is the way to go.
The essential thing in doing your part to more sustainable planet earth is choosing easy to dispose of items. Sustainable Packaging made from degradable materials is the way to go as they can be quickly and appropriately recycled.
Zero Harmful Toxins
Non-sustainable petrochemical resources such as crude oil, which is used to make most plastic, are incredibly harmful to the environment in terms of extraction, refinement, distribution, use, and disposal. Sustainable Packaging has none of these issues over its lifespan. As it degrades, harmful chemicals such as the ones produced by plastic are not present.
Easily Reuse & Recycle
Part of what makes packaging eco-friendly is its ability to be reused or recycled. Encouraging the reuse of packaging means that its lifespan is extended, which reduces the need for new materials, further lowering its carbon footprint. If the packaging is of good enough quality, it should be reused for packaging, storage and even arts and crafts.
Examples of Sustainable Packaging
Corrugated Bubble Wrap
Suitable for cushioning delicate and fragile items, bubble wraps are a pliable transparent plastic material that is regularly spaced, protruding air-filled hemispheres (bubbles).
As the name suggests, the primary resource used in the packaging is corn starch. It holds a consistency of plastic and produces polylactic acid (PLA) from corn starch in the process. This explains why corn starch-based plastics are also known as PLA plastics.
Polybags are used to ship, protect, hold and store just about everything from candy and food to clothing, books, nails, tools and automotive parts. Polybags are usually transparent or opaque and can also be printed with images or brand logos.
What Makes Sonoco Sustainable Food Packaging Different?
At Sonoco, our packaging is made from recycled, sustainable materials that are ensured to provide users with convenient storage and functional packaging that is appealing and easy to carry. Additionally, our packaging is manufactured in various sizes using sustainable materials and is exceptionally safe for the environment.
Founded in 1975, Sonoco Asia has provided a solution tailored to the consumer brand’s identity and needs for markets and audiences in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia. We serve six market segments: snacks and confections, powdered beverages, toddler needs, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and constructions.