Table of Contents
Whether we like it or not, packaging products is essential to prevent damage, spoilage, or contamination. But unfortunately for the planet, many packaging materials can cause significant environmental impacts, especially plastic waste.
The impact of packaging causes harm to the ocean, our air, and our land. It is a crucial problem that cannot be solved overnight but cannot be overlooked. Excessive packaging waste causes significant harm to our environment, and companies and consumers must take steps to help reduce and control these harmful effects.
What Harms the Planet?: Environmental Impact Definition
But before we can delve deeper into our commitment to eco-friendly packaging, it is essential to understand the exact meaning of environmental impact in packaging.
What we mean by environmental impact is the excessive packaging of products, the waste they produce, and the emissions they create throughout manufacturing and disposal. All packaging has an ecological impact on the planet, but we must reduce these effects to maintain a healthier world.
Plastic waste, in particular, is one of the largest culprits contributing to the negative environmental impact of packaging. However, all types of packaging still contribute and add up to a significant problem that must promptly be addressed.
It all starts at the beginning of a package’s life cycle and continues throughout, leaving a negative environmental footprint each step of the way. From its creation to its disposal, the negative environmental impact of most packaging materials is very concerning. So, to better understand how impactful packaging can be to the environment, let us look at the three main stages of a package’s life cycle.
Sourcing and Production
The problem with most wasteful packaging begins right at its creation. All forms of packaging require a certain amount of resources and energy to manufacture. Manufacturing can, and most likely will, emit greenhouse gases harmful to our air, produce harmful heavy metal particulates or dump toxic waste sludge into our waters.
Source: Maxim Tolchinskiy
Even factors such as water use, chemicals, petroleum, or collection of wood and other resources contribute to the environmental impact caused during production.
But it is not just the production of wasteful packaging that harms the environment. The transportation of packaging also affects the environment. Air pollution through airplanes, ships, and trucks also harms the planet! Fuel is needed to move packaging from one point to another. And though we will always need transportation, there are ways to lighten this inevitable impact, which we will discuss soon.
Disposal of Packaging Waste
The final major factor that affects the environmental impact of packaging is the end of its life cycle, the disposal. Every type of packaging can pollute the environment, but packaging plastics, in particular, are significantly harmful when not properly handled. Plastics often litter our oceans and streets, seriously harming avian and aquatic life.
Source: Antoine GIRET
In 2016 alone, around 23 million metric tons of plastic waste entered the ocean, where aquatic animals and birds often get tangled in such debris or mistake it for food. According to Ocean Conservancy, plastic has been found in 59 percent of seabirds, 100 percent of sea turtles, and more than 25 percent of sampled fish from seafood markets worldwide, and to make matters worse, this statistic is increasing.
So, steps and initiatives must be taken to minimize the plastic waste problem and packaging’s harmful environmental footprint in general.
Our Options to Reduce Impact Plastics and Provide Sustainable Packaging Solutions
With advancing technology and the innovation of alternate, sustainable modern packaging, businesses and consumers may start taking the appropriate steps to reduce the environmental impact of excessive packaging and move toward waste-free packaging.
Responsible Sourcing of Materials – We use resources from certified facilities that utilize sustainable practices to ensure all materials used in projects are renewable and optimized.
Clean Manufacturing – We use clean, renewable energy during manufacturing and consolidate print jobs to minimize print sheet requirements. Our facilities also recycle, reuse, and compost any waste related to manufacturing.
Design and Engineering – We tailor your projects to be sustainable at every step of their journey, from manufacturing to disposal. Whether you use less packaging, less ink, or opt to use more recycled materials, PakFactory offers many sustainable packaging designs. We also provide alternate, sustainable packaging materials, inks, and finishes to ensure effective recycling that contributes to a circular economy.
Carbon Neutral Logistics and Shipping – We are committed to achieving carbon-neutral shipping via optimized route planning, bulk shipments, and aggregate packaging.
Fulfillments – We provide solutions to reduce labor-intensive and wasteful processes by complying with 3PLs and automated packing systems to maximize efficiency.
Recycling and Waste – All our services provide responsible end-of-life disposal made easy and contribute to a circular economy!
Benefits of Reducing Environmental Impacts
With the negative impacts of wasteful packaging in mind and the solutions we offer to fix these problems, you might wonder about the benefits of implementing environmental packaging solutions in your next project and how it affects your business.
Put simply, implementing these positive changes will help protect our planet but also provide your company with a better brand image, increased productivity, reduced business costs, and increased profits! Overall, becoming a sustainable business offers many benefits, so companies shouldn’t shy away from saving the planet!
Positive Change Starts With Everyone
The earth is our home and reacts to everything we do; change does not happen overnight. Companies and consumers must work together and maintain sustainable practices to reduce our environmental footprint, and PakFactory is an excellent place to start!
If you want to elevate your business and take the next steps toward sustainable packaging, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our specialists are eager and happy to answer any questions you have!