Sustainability has become important for many industries. Plastic packaging can be better for the environment than many people think. It is recyclable. More than 90% of people in the United States can recycle their plastic bottles. At least 40% are able to recycle other plastic containers. Resealable packaging keeps food fresh much longer and reduces the amount of food that is sent to landfills.
How are plastic packaging products more sustainable than other packaging?
- Plastic packaging is reusable. For a long time one slogan for many environmentalists has been ?Reduce, reuse and Recycle.? Resealable packaging is one great advantage of plastic. It is simply not an option in other packaging products. Nearly 90% of people in the United States have said that they use resealable packaging products.
- Plastic packaging solutions are lighter. Flexible plastic solutions take less energy to produce and let you move more with less. Using glass bottles, it would take 26 truckloads to move the same amount of beverages as it would take one truckload if you used flexible plastic packaging. People in the plastics industry are always working to make the products lighter. Plastic one-gallon milk jugs are considerably lighter (30%) today than they were 20 years ago.
- It can be recycled. Recycling plastic greatly enhances its sustainability. Plastic bottle recycling is available to almost 95% of people in the United States and about 40% can recycle other plastic containers. Many localities pick up residential recycling and most of the bigger grocery store chains put recycling bins out for their customers to recycle bags and other items.
- Using more plastics can mean less trash is sent to landfills. Most of the trash in landfills does not biodegrade like it would elsewhere. One of the biggest sources of methane, a gas that contributes greatly to global warming, is food rotting in landfills. Newer resealable packaging keeps food out of landfills by making it stay fresh longer. For each pound of flexible plastic packaging products, approximately 1.7 pounds of food is not sent to the landfill. The newer food packaging also is better at keeping out contaminants.
- Litter reduction. The plastics industry has made a commitment to reducing the amount of litter. They have formed partnerships with non-profits and governmental agencies. The volunteer program Keeping America Beautiful has reduced the amount of litter around the country by about 60% over the last 46 years. Plastic little is more likely to float so it is easier to remove than other materials. The goal, however, of these partnerships is to get more people to recycle their plastic products.
- Plastic lasts a good long time. Scientists often measure sustainability by the product?s life span. When compared to other packaging, plastics come out on top. Resealable packaging can be reused over and over and over again without breaking down substantially.
It might be counterintuitive but using plastic products can be good for the environment. Because newer food packaging design can help feel more people. Because the food is kept fresh longer, it can be transported longer distances to reach more people who need it making plastic packaging a great option.