Option 1: Compostable Packaging
Compostable packaging refers to miniature bottles or other forms of packaging made from renewable resources. That’s the technical side of things, but what’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “compost”? For me, it’s a big steaming pile of who-knows-what sitting in my neighbor’s yard (those tree-huggers, again!). Not the prettiest picture, but you can’t deny that the science behind the depletion of a mountain of “stuff” into plant food is genuinely fascinating.
See an earlier blog post, “Compostable Plastics: 3 Things You Need To Know” if you want the step-by-step compost breakdown (not a literal day-by-day breakdown, just more info than is provided here. You can sit around and watch a pile of dirt for three months if you want, but we’ve got containers to sell!), but for now here’s the nitty-gritty three qualities packaging must have to be considered compostable.
- Packaging must biodegrade: Breaks down at the same speed as paper (within 90 days).
- Packaging must disintegrate: Breaks down so finely that particles can’t be separated from the compost soil.
- Packaging must not produce toxins: Break down is toxic-free, compost is capable of supporting plants.
Option 2: Biodegradable Packaging
Biodegradable, now that’s a word we all love to hear. Though the term gives miniature bottles extra green points, its definition is sometimes loosely applied. This eco-friendly classification is applied to packaging capable of being broken down by living organisms (like bacteria and fungi) over an indefinite period of time. So, even miniature bottles with a 100-million-year longevity are considered biodegradable as long as they eventually break down. Faster acting biodegradable goods often come in the form of secondary packaging materials like boxboard (CPS Design can help with box projects, yes, a shameless plug).
Option 3: Recyclable Packaging
Packaging made from PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP and PS are recyclable. Which means, pairing your product up with the perfect type of plastic and a mean recycling campaign makes for a definite green packaging win. On a side note, what could be better than packaging your product in the result of recycling efforts? Enter PCR, post-consumer resin, which we just happen to carry, thank you very much.
Option 4: Refillable/Reusable
If you haven’t noticed the new refillable and reusable packaging trend then I would advise you to stop reading this post right now and get out more. Store shelves are stocked full of refill pouches and products in miniature bottles (originally packaged in larger bottles which are meant to be used again). This green technique limits plastic use (good for the environment) and costs (good for you and the customer).
So there you have it, the four pathways to green packaging bliss. Remember to keep these options in mind, especially PCR bottles and jars when considering a green makeover for your product packaging.
Which green packaging avenue seems the most eco-friendly (ecological and economical) to you? Post a comment.