Consumers are more aware than ever how packaging affects the environment. As such, they are looking for more than just recyclable packaging-in fact, more people are now interested in sustainable wrappings made from reused materials. Sustainable packaging is anything but boring these days-take a look at some of these amazing examples from the past year.
#1. Refillable Containers
There’s nothing more sustainable than reusing your own containers. During the 1970s, it was common for people to return glass soda bottles to have them refilled. In 2017, the idea resurfaced, this time in the way of stores that allow people to bring their own refillable containers when purchasing everything from beauty products to cleaning supplies. The popularity of this concept has even led to the development of smart phone apps that help people locate stores where they can bring their own containers.
#2. Plant-Based Plastics
One reason people loathe plastics is because they are (1) made from petroleum products and (2) take hundreds of years to decompose. The development of plant-based plastics could change all that. A number of manufacturers are now creating durable bioplastics, which are plastics created from plant-based materials such as corn or soy. Bioplastic bottles are reusable, recyclable, and decompose in a landfill. They also require no petroleum, and therefore do not consume unnecessary resources.
#3. Edible Beer Rings
Images of fish and wildlife with their appendages caught in six-pack rings are enough to make anyone cringe. To protect marine animals in particular, Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, Florida has developed edible beverage rings. Made partly from barley and wheat, these rings pose no threat to wildlife when placed in the water (fish can actually munch on them as a snack). When not being eaten, the rings will decompose naturally on their own, and may also be collected and composted.
#4. Multi-Purpose “Clever Little Bags”
The aptly named “clever little bags” were developed by designer Yves Behar specifically to require fewer resources during the manufacturing process. Behar estimates that these clever little bags will use up to 60% less energy and water to produce than other bags. Shoe manufacturer Puma has adopted them as alternatives to shoeboxes, and estimates they will save approximately 8,500 pounds of tissue paper by doing so. There’s also a good chance that consumers will save these attractive red sacks to use as gift containers or reusable shopping bags.
#5. Beach Plastics Recyclable Shampoo Bottle
Proctor and Gamble has become the first company to create a shampoo bottle made from recycled beach plastic. In 2017, the company began bottling their signature Head and Shoulders shampoo in containers made from up to 25% recycled beach plastic. They also plan to ramp up their use of recycled plastic in general. By the end of 2018, Proctor and Gamble hopes to produce more than a half-billion bottles that contain post-consumer recycled plastic.
The packaging industry has moved beyond recyclable packaging to more environmentally-friendly, sustainable packaging for a variety of products. Here at Combined Technologies, Inc., we look forward to seeing what new trends will happen in 2018.