I am always looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint so when I was given the opportunity to partner with Perfect Packaging, I jumped at the chance. Today, shoppers, brands and retailers are all focused on more sustainable packaging solutions. To determine which packaging alternatives are better for the environment, you really need to consider all impacts throughout a package’s life cycle – ultimately working toward a circular economy. Unfortunately, armed only with misinformation, many do not distinguish between the different forms of packaging or plastics – and not all are created equal.
Flexible packaging is any package or part of a package whose shape can readily be changed when filled or during use. Flexible packaging is produced from paper, plastic, film, aluminum foil, or any combination of those materials, and includes bags, pouches, liners, wraps, roll-stock, and other flexible products. Innovation and technology allows manufacturers to use fewer natural resources to create packages and use the least amount of packaging necessary to protect and preserve products, creating less waste from the start. And by extending shelf life and offering a host of convenient features, one of its greatest impacts is helping the U.S reduce food waste. In the US, 1/3 of food waste is from cooking or serving too much, and 2/3 of food waste is due to food spoilage.
Living a busy and active lifestyle, we are always taking snacks on the go so convenience is key. Many of the convenience benefits of flexible packaging (resealability, cook and serve packaging, extended shelf life, portion control, and portability) contribute directly to reducing food waste, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.
Flexible packaging can be upcycled and reused. About 50% of flexible plastic packaging are easily recyclable through in-store drop-off programs, while the other half can be chemically recycled or used as energy feed-stock. In order to maximize value recovery and minimize environmental impact at the point of package disposal, it requires a conscious choice by the consumer. It is the Flexible Packaging Association’s mission to educate consumers on what flexible packaging can be recycled and locate local recycling locations for the different types of flexible packaging.
When the full life cycle of packaging materials is considered, flexible packaging requires less energy to manufacture and transport, reduces product waste, and sends less material to landfills; so environmental benefits include reducing greenhouse gas emissions (carbon impact), fossil fuel usage, water usage, and product-to-package ratio when compared to alternative packaging types.
Flexible packaging is second only to nature’s original. Please visit Perfect Packaging to learn more.