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Reduce Packaging Waste This Holiday Season with Stand Up Pouches

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The winter holiday season is in full swing, and it’s no secret that excess is the name of the game this time of year.

Consumers — young adults in particular — are increasing their gift purchasing this holiday season, with a reported 46 percent of shoppers 18-24 years old saying they plan to spend more on presents this year. Retail sales through the end of the year are projected to increase to roughly four percent, totaling approximately $679 billion dollars.

That’s a whole lot of spending… and a whole lot of discarded product packaging. 

Once the magic of gift giving begins to wane, consumers begin filling their trash cans, recycling bins and dumpsters with torn wrapping paper, crumbled gift bags, peeled-off bows and empty shipping boxes. According to the EPA, ONE MILLION TONS of packaging end up in landfills after the holiday season.

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One in every four items consumers through away is packaging related, which means a large percentage of environmentally damaging waste comes from the container a product is in. However, eliminating packaging isn’t going to solve the problem. After all, packaging is what protects products, safeguards it from becoming contaminated and helps distinguish one item from another.

Packaging entices buyers to reach for a product, it provides important nutrition and safety information and it keeps gifts a secret until their intended recipient breaks through the bag or wrapping to unveil the surprise product. No matter how you look at it, packaging matters. However, it doesn’t have to be a necessary “evil” if the right kind of packaging is chosen for products.

The key to eliminating the problem of excess packaging waste during the holiday season is reduction. Reducing the amount of packaging used is a step in the right direction.

Brands that want to do their part to increase sustainability and help the environment should also reduce the amount of raw material that goes into manufacturing their product packaging.

Stand up pouches are one example of product packaging that is sustainable, reusable and uses less material to produce that numerous other containers. In fact, lightweight flexible packaging uses 40 percent of the amount of plastic than rigid containers like canisters or bottles.

Stand up pouches also take up nine times less space in landfills than their traditional heavy counterparts, and they’re an all-in-one solution that eliminates waste. More of today’s modern, successful and forward-thinking brands are even ditching the cardboard box and switching to flexible pouches for their ecommerce and shipping packaging solutions.

With an increasing number of influential shoppers actively choosing to purchase from brands with strong, clearly communicated values (such as sustainability or a mission to reduce food waste), selecting reusable, lightweight, eco-friendly packaging will play a significant role in cutting down on waste this holiday season.

 

Topics: Non Food Packaging

Brittany Nader

Written by Brittany Nader

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.

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