Eco-Friendly is a term given to products or items in general that support the environment by producing the least amount of negatively hurting substances and requiring the least amount of natural resources in their manufacturing processes. Packaging is no different and Eco-Friendly packaging refers to one that is produced using environmentally friendly materials and also fulfills other attributes like being reusable or recyclable at the same time. Different manufacturers take different routes to Eco-Friendly packaging with the common medium being green or recyclable materials that affect the environment as less as possible if at all. Here are the some of the essential principles of Eco-Friendly packaging:
It all starts with the materials that are to be used in its manufacture. Natural materials like any green organic ones including trees, plantation or naturally grown materials that are used for consumption or keeping the oxygen levels up in the atmosphere should always be avoided when going for eco-friendly packaging. Plastics, for example, involve a lot of natural materials and are mostly wasted after use, paper or cardboard is a much reusable material and requires less natural materials to be used in them.
Biodegradable Materials Where Possible:
Biodegradable materials are ones that can be taken apart and then reshaped and remade into whatever form or shape required. These specialize in being reused as many times as required and might have the least amount of natural resources in them but the confidence of being used many times make them one of the most eco-friendly solutions in the market. However, these biodegradable materials are some of the hardest to be used as packaging because of their nature and tough manufacturing processes that take a lot more effort and practice to master.
The other main attribute of eco-friendly packaging is its ability to be reused for similar purposes once the initial purpose is fulfilled. This also refers to packaging that can be re-used without having to be processed again. Just slight reshaping can get them in their second or even more usage cutting down the usage of any natural materials required for their manufacturing processes. This type of reusable packaging is usually found with boxes made from cardboard or paperboard and is sturdy enough to last more extended periods of time without being damaged at all.
Environment-Friendly Manufacturing Processes:
The eco-friendly packaging also needs to be manufactured through processes that don’t hurt the environment as much. Their wastage or carbon footprint needs to be the smallest, and all the wastages need to be managed in a way that their effect on the environment is minimal. Packaging manufacturers need to ensure good waste management and very low carbon emissions to ensure sustainable manufacturing processes for their products to gain the eco-friendly status.
Recyclable Materials and Packaging:
One of the most significant characteristics of eco-friendly packaging is its ability to be recycled. Waste materials are found in abundance all over the world, people purchase products and don’t care much for the packaging once opened. The best approach towards it is to have materials that are easily recyclable. Cardboard, paperboard, corrugated materials or many other forms of paper materials offer great recyclability as opposed to some other materials like plastics or composite ones. Product manufacturers or packaging providers should focus on simple materials that are much easily recycled and a whole system that ensures sourcing of already used packaging materials needs to be in place ensuring a constant supply that ensures much less use of new natural resources.
Fitting Sizes Using Least Amount of Materials:
Another major principle of eco-friendly packaging that is often neglected is the number of materials used in them. Too big packaging uses much more materials than a nicely fitting one. It may not seem much when looking at individual packaging boxes, but when you consider hundreds and thousands of packaging boxes each brand uses in a limited amount of time, it only makes sense to design packaging that uses the least amount of materials and natural resources in the process.Packaging is a very sensitive attribute for product manufacturers and retailers; it is accounted for some of the most natural resources consumption in all products manufacture. When you consider the number of carbon emissions that could be saved with smart, eco-friendly packaging, it is the easiest to understand why it is getting all the hype in the modern day. It is only safe to use environmentally friendly packaging to ensure a safe future for the future generations.
Different manufacturers take different routes to Eco-Friendly packaging with the common medium being green or recyclable materials that affect the environment as less as possible if at all.