Updated: Jul 15
Everything You Need to Know About Biodegradable Packaging
Currently, plastic is the most popular packaging material in the world as it is simply so easy to produce. However, the widespread use of plastic comes with a number of environmental hazards including slow decomposition rate and ground and water pollution. The pollution has grown massively on the scale and there is no time to lose when it comes to changing our everyday habits. For this reason, environmentalists are encouraging people and companies to switch to eco-friendly packaging instead of regular plastic ones.
There are several alternatives to plastic packaging. However, the best and most sustainable is packaging that is biodegradable - packaging that is produced by using biopolymers. These polymers are obtained from living organisms including proteins and cellulose. This makes biodegradable packaging safe to use and degrade at a much faster rate compared to plastic material.
How to tell if it is Biodegradable Packaging?
Here, it is important to address what factors make a packaging biodegradable or recyclable. Almost every other company claims its packaging to be sustainable or biodegradable. We will list some of the top factors that make packaging sustainable or biodegradable.
What is the material of construction of the packaging? The biodegradable packaging should have all its ingredients biodegradable or recyclable.
Does the packaging contain any harmful plastics? If yes, it can not be considered biodegradable packaging.
In case plastic is used in making the packaging, it should be recyclable or biodegradable.
Packaging should be large enough, so it can’t fall through the cracks at your local MRF.
Biodegradable packaging is always environment-friendly and has a small carbon footprint.
Different types of Biodegradable Packaging
Cardboard is the most used packaging material. You can recycle it for reuse. In the USA, most of the states have given common masses access to recycling cardboard. Cardboard is considered good as a packaging material, however, you need to keep in mind that how many times you can recycle and its impacts of recycling on the environment.
We will take you to the reuse vs. recycling debate. If you want an option other than universal polystyrene-made containers, Biodegradable materials are a good option. We can use certain types of plastic for making containers. But Biodegradable materials have their own advantages in this regard.
You can easily recycle things that are made out of biomaterials. Generally, untreated paper and cardboard are considered natural biomaterials. With time, scientists have created new materials such as biodegradable plastics. Plastics we made from corn starch are prime examples of Biodegradable materials. We use this plastic for the packaging of food items. Scientists are also working on the development of another type of Biodegradable plastic named bubble wrap.
Inks and Dyes
The inks used for packaging also require proper testing. These tests are performed to check if the used inks are good for the environment and fit for the recycling process. Few inks used for labeling purposes may drain or fade the packaging material when we recycle it. The concerned authorities have approved certain inks that are good to use in the industry.
Why Biodegradable Packaging Is Important
According to an APA study, we throw away hundreds of thousands of tons of packaging every year. This wasted packaging goes to landfills and stays there for years to come. If the packaging is not biodegradable, it pollutes water bodies including rivers and lakes. The only option left with this waste is to recycle it. But, it is hard to recycle all this packaging. Therefore, the only solution left is to use biodegradable packaging.
In case, we fail to recycle all the biodegradable packaging, there is no need to worry as they decompose easily under the earth's surface including landfills. For this reason, biodegradable packaging doesn't cause any pollution and is thus called a sustainable solution to plastic packaging. Biodegradable packaging is also known as Eco-friendly packaging.
Biodegradable Packaging comes with many benefits for the environment. (Picture source: Pexels.com)
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of biodegradable packaging on the environment.
Advantages of Biodegradable Packaging
There are many reasons and advantages why one should opt for biodegradable packaging rather than plastic packaging. For example:
Easy to Dispose
Biodegradable packaging, as we know is easy to dispose of. You don't need large landfills and other dumping spaces to take care of such packaging as you need for plastic packaging. It, in turn, help reduce the plastic footprint on the earth.
Decreases the Carbon Footprint
Biodegradable packaging is very eco-friendly. One of its reason is no to minimize carbon emission when we use such packaging. As biodegradable packaging is made up of biodegradable materials, therefore, it doesn't require resources to recycle it. This way, it helps to clean the environment and also reduces the financial cost of recycling.
Good for you Brand
With the passage of time, people are getting more conscious of protecting their environment. Everyone now wants to get rid of pollution caused by plastic packaging. A recent study shows that 3/4th of the customers feel good and prefer the companies that are using recycled items. By using biodegradable packaging, a brand can earn a good name among its customers.
As the name depicts, biodegradable packaging decomposes easily, causing no or minimum pollution. It means not only does it decompose faster but also leaves no carbon footprint. It makes it very eco-friendly.
Among its characteristics that make biodegradable packaging a popular choice is its versatility and flexibility. Such packaging is useful in almost all kinds of industries that require packaging. No matter if it is the food industry or electronic devices industry, biodegradable packaging is equally great.
Free of Plastics
Plastics are among the main polluters on the surface of planet earth. These harmful plastics not only cause land pollution but also contributing to global warming. The main cause of concern for these plastics is their un-degradable nature. Because plastics are said to stay on earth for dozens of years yet not completely decompose. Due to these harmful impacts of plastic packaging on our environment, it seems wise to choose eco-friendly packaging options. Biodegradable packaging is one such option.
Why brands are more and more into using the most sustainable materials?
Biodegradable packaging offers a great alternative to plastic packaging. There are many reasons to choose biodegradable packaging over other types of packaging. The biggest reason is the environmental advantage. Thankfully, various companies are choosing Biodegradable packaging materials now due to environmental benefits and pressure from their clients. For North Fjord, the mission is clear - to leave an as small an ecological footprint as we possibly can. Making fashion As sustainable as we possibly can. We are so happy, that there are many other brands on the same mission with us!