Because of the recent demand for sustainable products and packaging from consumers, scientists have had to find alternative materials that are just as durable as plastic but don’t pollute the environment and add to our landfills. The goal is to do as little harm as possible to the planet, and luckily, there are several ways companies can do that.
Companies have started investing in bioplastic or corn plastic, which is material made from plants. Bioplastic converts sugar from plants into plastic that can be used for a variety of things. In the United States, that sugar comes from corn, but in other countries, the sugar they use might be sugar cane, beet sugar, or sugar that comes from potatoes. The corn kernels are milled until dextrose, a chemical substance is extracted. Dextrose is then fermented in bacteria or yeast and results in lactic acid buildup which is the main compound for bioplastic.
Unfortunately, even though the name might imply those materials are biodegradable, not all bioplastic is, which is why other companies have started using organic compounds like corn starch or plant starch. PLA or polylactic acid, which is a plastic substitute, is made from fermented plant starch and is 100% biodegradable. Even global giants have started to invest in alternative packaging materials which use organic matter like mycelium fungus.
100% recycled materials are also being used as sustainable packaging. Companies can use recycled plastic to continue creating a more eco-friendly approach to their packaging process. Recycled plastic is sorted and collected together. It is then ground up, washed, and dried, so it’s ready to be used again. Companies can also use metal cans, cardboard, glass, and other plastic products like film and trays. If we’re looking at all the options, companies are also upcycling certain packaging materials and allowing them to be repurposed into other items. For example large retail companies have started repurposing their paper bags and turning them into hangers for their clothing in stores. Other companies use images on their packaging which can be used to create a poster or picture that consumers can hang on their walls or use for crafting or DIY projects.
The world has gotten creative in its efforts to help fight off the waste in our landfills. Luckily, there seem to be many more options for packaging materials that businesses can use to inspire change in local communities and help bring together a society that values the planet and the resources on it.
If you are interested in learning more about which sustainable packaging Top Tubes offers, please reach out to our office so one of our laminated tubes specialists can assist with answering your questions.