“We throw more than 8 million tons into the ocean every year. You guessed it; it’s plastic.”
Everyone knows that plastic pollutes both land and seas. Only 10% of the world’s plastic waste is recycled; the rest wanders in nature. Among this plastic waste, packaging occupies a vital place. However, natural ecological and biodegradable alternatives exist, that why more and more brands are looking for this ever-present plastic packaging replacement. Fortunately, there are now several low-cost solutions that can easily replace the plastic in your packaging.
Read on to find out:
- Why your business needs to replace its plastic packaging?
- What are the COVID-19 effects on the plastic problem?
- What is eco-friendly packaging?
- 5 solutions to replace plastic packaging
Why your business needs to replace its plastic packaging?
- Single-use plastic ban
- The development of turnover
- The protection of the environment
Single-use Plastic Ban:
There’s a lot going on right now with the single-use plastic ban. In recent years, we have seen plastic bags banned, and it is being applied equally to all, regardless of developed and developing countries. On the other hand, non-cash plastic bags compostable in domestic compost and bio-sourced remain authorized. Retail brands (supermarkets, hypermarkets, etc.), Food stores (bakeries, butchers, etc.), and Non-food stores (pharmacies, bookstores, etc.) are the main businesses that are affected by the plastic bag bans. The ban on single-use plastics is progressing and now extends to Plastic bottles, Disposable plastic tableware, and plastic tea bags as well. If you have a business that sells goods, whatever they are, you are therefore concerned.
The Development of Turnover:
It’s an opportunity for your brand; if you are not yet convinced of the economic interest of your company in replacing plastic packaging with more ecological packaging, you will change your mind. Indeed, ecology is not just a passing trend and seems to mark a real fundamental movement. A movement and consumer interest that you can surf on to increase your turnover. With the actions of associations such as Zero Waste or Plastic Attack, plastic is increasingly in the sights of consumers. That’s why more than 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for an eco-responsible product.
The Protection of The Environment:
Did you know that 75% of waste at sea is plastic? Which still represents the substantial amount of 500,000 tons of plastic that flows over our oceans. Unfortunately, 75% of plastic, whether packaging or disposable tableware, is used as disposable plastic. In addition, a good part of the plastic is not collected or sorted on a global scale. As for what is collected, most is not recycled. Indeed, the main problem posed by plastic is recycling. If each type of plastic molecule is easily recycled when it is used alone, it is not the same when they are associated in the form of composites.
Read also: Effects of climate change
You would actually have to separate them from recycling them effectively. A complex and costly operation since almost all plastic-based products are composites. One of the solutions for the future is, therefore, to develop eco-design: designing from the outset products that are easier to recycle, especially all the plastics used for packaging, which represents approximately 40% of the plastic consumed in France and which will inevitably end up being thrown away.
What are the COVID-19 Effects on the Plastic Problem?
The pandemic has wiped out years of efforts to limit plastic pollution. One of the unexpected and undesirable effects of the Covid-19 crisis is to have brought the problem of plastic back to the fore. Across the planet, masks, gloves, visors, cleaning wipes, and bottles of hydro alcoholic gel have entered everyday life.
Wraps and overwraps have reappeared on store shelves to protect foodstuffs from contamination. Screens or Plexiglas protections were erected everywhere. As for single-use plastics, which had been banned within the European Union and were to be eradicated by 2040, they have come back in force: cups, plates, cutlery, water bottles, etc.
What is Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Ecological packaging is packaging that limits its impact on the environment by taking into account its entire life cycle. This means that it limits the resources and energy required for its manufacture and transport and can be revalued (for example, via reuse or recycling) once used.
Now that the harmfulness of plastic is established let’s see how to easily replace it.
5 Solutions to Replace Plastic Packaging:
A bio-based plastic is a plastic made from renewable resources (plant, animal, residual, algae, etc.). It can therefore be made from cornstarch, potato starch, seaweed, sugar cane, or even beets. Moreover, biodegradable plastic is a plastic that degrades into natural, non-toxic elements on a human timescale. It is much more environmentally friendly than traditional plastic packaging, and it is a good alternative to plastic.
2. Half-Plastic, Half-Cardboard Tubes:
The big advantage of cardboard compared to plastic made from petroleum is that it comes from a renewable resource: wood. The first half-plastic, half-cardboard cosmetic packaging has been on the shelves of pharmacies since last May. The Anthelios range of sun creams from La Roche-Posay, a brand of the L’Oréal group, is now presented in innovative tubes designed by the French company Albéa. The body of the tube is made from grease-resistant and cosmetically compatible cardboard. The amount of plastic contained in the tube is 45% less than in a conventional tube. A life cycle analysis has shown that the brand’s skincare range has the lowest carbon footprint in its category.
3. Paper Packaging:
Indeed, let’s say that you make direct sales and that you give a plastic bag at the checkout (a bag greater than 50 microns, therefore, because below it is prohibited, as we saw at the beginning of the item). Then, a paper bag would perfectly replace your plastic bag. Like cardboard, paper is generally made from a renewable resource, wood. But it can also come from banana fiber, as we have seen before. In addition, it is completely biodegradable if it uses natural glue and vegetable ink.
Basically, as you will have understood, it has the same ecological characteristics as cardboard, with the difference that it is flexible and will therefore have other uses.
4. Bamboo Packaging:
An alternative to plastic packaging that is starting to get talked about outside of bioplastics is bamboo! An infinitely renewable material, natural and above all without the addition of chemicals, bamboo offers a rather interesting alternative. It is already found everywhere: in the kitchen in the form of dishes, in the bathroom to brush your teeth, but also on the beaches in the form of straws, ice cream cups, and various other disposable accessories.
It has the advantage of growing particularly quickly, of being abundant and inexpensive. Its cultivation does not require pesticides or fertilizers. In addition, it is easy to work with, resistant, and aesthetic, which makes it an ideal material for many uses.
5. Flax Fiber Bottle:
Mixing flax fibers with natural resins makes it possible to obtain a resistant but biodegradable material, which is also three times lighter than glass. This technology developed by the French start-up Green Gen Technologies can therefore be used to replace plastic bottles, make cups, gourds… It comes from local production for France is the world’s leading producer of flax, but others vegetable fibers such as hemp or bamboo can also be used.
Luckily, switching to eco-friendly food packaging is easier than you think