We need to develop ways to consume less plastic because it pollutes our oceans, landfills, and even our air. Going straight to the source is a wonderful place to begin. The production of goods is already altering how plastic waste is managed, particularly in the area of packaging. More must always be done to prevent waste in order to minimize the enormous amount of plastic trash that currently blights our globe. The industrial sector may reduce waste from plastic packaging and containers by following these simple tips.
Why is this issue so serious? It is crucial because this particular type of plastic debris makes up a sizeable amount of municipal solid waste. An estimated 14.5 million tons of trash were generated in 2018 by the plastic container industry alone. The Environmental Protection Agency defines container and package garbage as products that are meant to be thrown away the same year as their contents are utilized. Soft plastic food packaging, polyethylene terephthalate water bottles, and soft plastic transport containers are all included in this category of goods.
Some sources claim that in recent times, the amount of packaging and shipping goods utilized to safeguard shipments’ contents has quickly increased. This could be attributed to increased food distribution and online shopping. A 2021 study reveals that, contrary to projections made in 2019, Amazon’s production of plastic packaging waste increased by 29% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food distribution waste will continue to rise relative to the global population if something isn’t done soon. This industry uses a lot of packaging made of soft plastic, which is challenging to recycle. These multi-material objects, often known as “film” or “flexible packaging,” which are designed to keep bacteria and moisture out, make up about 50% of food packaging and 41% of all packaging.
What packaging modifications can be made to reduce waste? Businesses must first and foremost do everything possible to handle their plastic waste more efficiently. Setting up a stringent program to manage trash through recycling, reuse, and reduction is one approach. Another option is to create ecologically friendly items.
Despite being simpler to recycle, recyclable materials like glass, paper, and cardboard may not be as economical. Modern innovations make it possible to retain food-safe packaging while using less energy and trash. Ultrasonic sealing can take the place of thermal sealing. This process, when used in conjunction with paper products, can help organizations meet their sustainability goals by resulting in an end product that is more environmentally friendly.
There is, regrettably, no simple answer for the pollution caused by plastic garbage. To repair the harm already done, a lot of work must be done on a global scale. But by concentrating on modernizing packaging at the point of manufacture and implementing cutting-edge production techniques, a shift can be observed right away.
For more information on reducing waste from plastic packaging, see the infographic below.