For many consumers, assessing the sustainability of packaging revolves around its ability to be recycled. However, there are many more factors that go into what makes a product environmentally friendly. Considering the entire lifespan, from production to transportation to how it is repurposed or recycled can alter how we think about the sustainability of our packaging choices.
The case for flexible packaging begins with its production. Flexible packages use fewer raw materials, less energy and less resources to produce compared to traditional forms of packaging. When flexible packages are ready to be transported, they are lightweight, allowing more units to be moved at once, reducing the cost and environmental resources used during the process. With the rise of e-commerce, this benefits online shoppers by saving them money on shipping costs and resealable packaging options for easy returns! As for the products inside flexible packages, their lifespan is extended thanks to innovative plastics engineering. For food goods, their lifespan can be increased drastically, which contributes to the reduction of food waste at home. Because one-third of American households dispose of food products before they are consumed, reducing food waste is a major benefit of flexible packaging.
While flexible packages can be resealed and reused, they also have recycling capabilities. Currently, approximately 50% of flexible packaging can be recycled through in-store drop-off programs. To find a drop-off program near you, use our Terracycle database! Flexible packaging also typically sends less material to landfills because it uses fewer materials than other types of packaging. To learn more about the flexible packaging industry’s efforts to improve recycling, click here!
For these reasons, flexible packaging is becoming the first choice for manufacturers, brands and consumers alike. We are so excited to watch the flexible packaging industry continue to create sustainable packaging innovations, fight food waste, and optimize end of life cycle options. To continue reading about the environmental benefits of flexible packaging, visit our site here!