Compostable packaging should not be a one-size-fits-all solution for all packaging. Rather, it should be used in applications where it helps to divert food waste from landfills and compost bins, to reduce food waste contamination with recyclable materials, or to replace non-recyclable packaging. The guide helps brands avoid problems in the future by evaluating which applications are most suitable for compostable packaging. It offers a checklist on compostability, suggestions for exploring certain “gray areas” in which compostable containers may or may not make sense, and a guide to which containers should not be designed to be compostable.
Some plastic films are even compostable or biodegradable to reduce their pressure on the environment. Plastic films may not yet be a widely accepted technology, especially compared to corrugated cardboard and paper, but advances in plastic packaging have made them less of a target for environmentalists. To ensure that the packaging protects your product, consider the full journey it must take from when it is first packaged until it arrives at your customers' home or office. If the product packaging could be damaged by moisture or rain, consider adding a recyclable outer layer.
Make sure that they are separate and that both can be recycled (see the materials section). Eco-friendly packaging designs present some challenges. One problem with products such as biodegradable plastics that are labeled as compostable is that they must decompose in an industrial facility and will not decay in the household compost heap. For many people, these containers are not accessible, so consumers have no choice but to throw them in the trash, where these biodegradable plastics will go to landfill.
To truly adopt greener options, think about the entire lifecycle of your products. There are a lot of new and interesting materials on the market, but using sustainable packaging is easier than you think and the materials are just the surface (no pun intended). Here are some ideas on how your brand can make your packaging dual-purpose and eco-friendly, along with tips on how your brand can urge consumers to recycle or reuse their packaging materials. Everything is “technically” biodegradable if you have enough time, but in the world of packaging, it usually refers to materials such as corn husks and potatoes, which have a less stable chemical composition compared to plastics, which require much more energy to decay.
Create simple, creative packaging that appeals to minimalist and environmentally conscious consumers. To start using that versatility, talk to the experts at Meyers and realize your vision of sustainable packaging. With this available resource, companies can use compostable packaging to meet their sustainability objectives and maintain the biological cycles of the circular economy. Therefore, companies have a moral responsibility to educate their buyers about greener packaging.
Consumers demand green packaging solutions now more than ever, and it is the packaging industry that must offer them. To reduce packaging waste, all members of the supply chain, from a company's packaging engineering team to the consumer, must make informed decisions when choosing the best packaging for the environment. Since energy is needed to recycle materials and transport them between stations, the end result is better than always manufacturing new containers, but it is far from being environmentally friendly. Single-material packaging, or single-material packaging, ensures that the entire package is recyclable.
If this is the case with your product, design the packaging so that it can be easily disassembled and put clear instructions on the packaging. If compostable packaging is thrown into a landfill where it is exposed to a large amount of air, it actually decomposes at a rate similar to that of other materials.