Addressing the Environmental Concerns Around the Packaging Industry


Why is sustainable packaging important in the packaging industry? Should packaging manufacturers be investing their dollars in eco-friendly materials? With the growth of consumerism, the amount of packaging waste has risen significantly. We encounter packaging materials in almost everything we buy and use, from our morning protein bars to plastic shopping bags. Packaging manufacturers must be aware of the impact of packaging on the environment and work to adopt sustainable packaging practices.

The Importance of Sustainable Packaging

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), containers and packaging generate over 80 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the United States annually. Over decades of decomposition in landfills, the waste can contaminate soil and water, harming wildlife, ecosystems, and climate conditions. Consumer demand for green packaging materials is growing as concern about climate change and plastic pollution increases. Sustainable packaging solutions reduce environmental waste by using biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable materials. 

Conserve Resources

The production of traditional packaging materials, such as plastic and paper, requires significant energy and natural resources. They are derived from non-renewable sources like oil and trees, and their production and disposal contribute significantly to resource depletion. Sustainable packaging helps conserve our natural resources and reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The production and disposal of traditional packaging materials generate significant amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Burning plastic packaging releases toxic chemicals into the air, while the disposal of paper packaging in landfills can release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Sustainable packaging solutions utilize materials that require less energy to produce and are easier to recycle or dispose of, reducing their carbon footprint.

Provide Marketable Packaging

Sustainable packaging can be an excellent marketing tool for businesses. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases, and many are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged products. Companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers by adopting sustainable packaging practices.

Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Various sustainable packaging solutions are available today for businesses to reduce their environmental impact. Some of the most common solutions include:

  1. Biodegradable & Compostable Packaging: Biodegradable and compostable packaging contains materials that can break down naturally over time. Compostable films and bags like Clysar’s EVO Recyclable Shrink Films (nVenia has worked with Clysar specifically and tested their films on our equipment) offer environmentally responsible packaging materials for the entire lifecycle of a product. Their products convert into carbon dioxide and water after disposal, which allows them to make a minimal waste impact on the environment.
  2. Recyclable Packaging: Recyclable packaging materials include glass, aluminum, and certain types of plastic. These materials can be turned into new products, minimizing plastic waste in landfills and preserving natural resources.
  3. Reusable Packaging: Reusable packaging is designed for multiple uses, reducing the need for single-use packaging. Reusable packaging solutions include cloth shopping bags, stainless steel water bottles, and glass containers.
  4. Minimal Packaging: Companies that use smaller boxes or eliminate unnecessary packaging components like plastic wrap or styrofoam can reduce their carbon footprint and downsize their materials.
  5. Secondary Packaging: Manufacturers and retailers use secondary packaging to bundle and ship multiple units of the same products. This reduces unnecessary packaging components and makes it convenient for customers to transport containers of products like sports drinks or packs of gum. Brands can use secondary packaging to create attractive sales displays and appealing value propositions for shoppers, increasing sales.

Sustainable packaging offers a myriad of benefits that extend far beyond the reduction of environmental impact. By embracing sustainable packaging practices, we can conserve non-renewable resources, reduce waste, and encourage consumers to make environmentally responsible choices.  

Is your company ready to rethink the packaging process and reduce waste? Contact us today to learn how our equipment increases packaging efficiency while remaining environmentally conscious.