Despite the fact that plastic pollutes our oceans, landfills, and even the air we breathe, we must find ways to consume less of it. The source is an excellent place to start. Manufacturing of goods is already altering how plastic waste is managed, notably in the field of packaging. In order to minimize the enormous amount of plastic rubbish that currently plagues our planet, more must always be done to prevent waste. Here are a few basic tips for cutting down on waste from plastic packaging and containers in the industrial sector.
Why is it so important to address this issue first and foremost? It is crucial because a significant portion of municipal solid trash is made up of this specific kind of plastic debris. In 2018, the plastic container sector alone generated around 14.5 million tons of waste. Container and package waste is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as goods that are intended to be thrown away the same year as their contents are used. This category of products includes soft plastic food packaging, polyethylene terephthalate water and soft drink bottles, shipping containers, and other things.
The quantity of shipping and packing supplies used to protect shipments’ contents has rapidly expanded recently, it has been reported. Food distribution and online purchasing both contributed to the rise. In contrast to predictions made in 2019, a 2021 analysis finds that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon’s production of plastic packaging waste surged by 29%.
If immediate action is not done, food distribution waste will increase along with world population. This industry uses a lot of packaging made of soft plastic, which is difficult to recycle. About 50 percent of food packaging and 41 percent of all packaging consists of these multi-material items, also referred to as “film” or “flexible packaging,” which are intended to keep bacteria and moisture out.
What modifications to these products’ packaging could be made to cut down on waste? First and foremost, companies must do all possible to manage their plastic waste more effectively. One solution is to implement a strict program to manage trash through recycling, reuse, and reduction. Making environmentally friendly products is another choice.
Even if recyclable materials like glass, paper, and cardboard are easier to recycle, they might not be as economical. There are currently innovative ways to conserve energy and trash while maintaining food-safe packaging. Thermal sealing, for instance, can be replaced by ultrasonic sealing. When combined with paper products, this method can assist businesses in achieving their sustainability objectives by producing a more environmentally friendly product.
Sadly, there is no quick answer for the pollution brought on by plastic trash. There is a lot of global work that needs to be done in order to undo the damage already done. However, a change might be seen straight away by focusing on updating packaging at the point of manufacture and applying cutting-edge production methods.
Check out the infographic provided below for additional information on decreasing waste from plastic packaging.