Care about the package material as well as the package

There are plenty of sites that focus on green and sustainable products. For example, GreenGoods is a popular online eco store that caters to many customers, bringing green and organic goods straight to a customer’s door. Yet, what we often overlook is how these products are transported. Too often, for example, food products are transported in material that takes hundreds of years to degrade – polluting the seas and harming the environment.

This study then could have an important impact on our planet. A research group from the University of the Basque Country used chitosan, a material made from crustacean shells, instead of petroleum by-products.

“Chitosan films are effective in preserving some of the properties of carrots as well as in preserving them longer. What is more, chitosan films are less harmful for the environment than those made of plastic in various impact categories.”

Though we often overlook it, packaging is a serious focus for environment concern.

“Food items are covered with plastic films to make them last longer and protect them from microbes. The environment, however, is seriously affected by the use of this material. The plastic bottles and films present everywhere in our civilization take between 100 and 400 years to degrade. So the quest for alternative materials to plastics produced from petroleum is an environmental priority.”

At Greener Package, their trends for 2015 indicates something similar.

“Brands will continue to focus on developing new barrier technologies that are renewably sourced, readily recyclable, biodegradable, or, ideally, all three. Bioplastics and water-based coatings are some of the barrier technologies that brands are exploring and implementing in order to achieve the balance of the aforementioned priorities relative to recyclability and renewability. New barrier technologies will continue to be a critical business imperative for brand packaging in 2015.”

The important focus here is that whether it’s bottling companies in Chicago or board suppliers in Cape Town, caring about the environment should be a singular and central focus for your product. It makes no sense to care about the contents of the package being beneficial when we continue to make unsafe or hazardous material to house the contents in. That only solves half the problem; further, unlike the contents which can be consumed quickly, the packaging themselves take a very long time to degrade, causing pollution and other kinds of danger to the environment.

(Image credit: WikiPedia)