Single-use plastics are the go-to options for businesses in packaging textiles, garments, and other products for transport because they are lightweight, transparent, flexible, and waterproof.
But when they always end up in landfills, single-use plastics take a thousand years to degrade while releasing toxic chemicals that can cause harm to the atmosphere.
Studies show that around 4 trillion plastic bags are used across the world every year. Surprisingly, 1% of plastic bags are recycled, which is alarming. Americans alone throw away 100 billion plastic bags yearly. That means 307 bags per person. But single-use plastics that end up in landfills can be eliminated by recycling or reusing.
Of course, you’re an expert in your niche. You can supervise a big department. You can develop a product, market a service, and even find investors. So, recycling single-use plastics might not be your thing. But don’t worry! In this guide, you will discover useful and excellent alternatives to your packaging! Let’s begin!
Why It Is Important to Audit Your Waste Before Anything Else?
It’s a big mistake to start recycling and reusing without gauging your situation.
While there are plenty of factors to bear in mind, begin with a bin audit to help you determine what you or your customers are throwing away in landfills.
After that, you can finally build a SMART goal and strategy to cut the total plastics that go to landfills or oceans.
Top Areas Where You Can Reuse and Recycle Plastics
Generally, recycling and reusing plastics in businesses might seem complex. But with a plan and objective, it would be simpler than ever. Below are some areas where you can prevent sneaky plastics from cropping up in the ocean and other unexpected places:
Currently, England is requiring businesses with more than 250 employees to charge 5p for a carrier bag.
If you’re running a small business, you could offer those who bring their own bag an incentive. Think of a reward like a discount or a freebie and your target market would really appreciate it. For every saving they acquire, they would be more eager to reuse their shopping bags.
Businesses get used to tags, elastic or plastic ties. Now, switch to twine ties and fabric/paper tags. Yes, this transition from plastic to paper tags will be difficult. But the adjustment would be easier as time goes by.
For many years, we’ve been using plastic hangers and displays. Why don’t we consider using hangers made of wood and cardboard? Not only are they eco-friendly, but they are also money-saving in the long run.
Businesses employed poly bags in wrapping their garments and other products.
For those who don’t know what poly bags are, they are a lightweight plastic bag used to package products during freight or distribution.
Although they are cheap and effective, they are still single-use plastic can harm the environment.
Good news! There are safer and more sustainable packaging options, including compostable and recyclable poly bags.
Compostable poly bags, for instance, are proven to disappear within 180 days in consumers’ backyards.
Biodegradable poly bags, on the other hand, are developed to break down in landfills. More environmentally friendly than conventional plastic packaging, these poly bags are starch-based and would start to decay in any microbe-rich environment.
Another area in your business where you can recycle is your online order. When packaging products, experts recommend outer and inner poly bags for shipments. Everyone is also encouraged to use packing tape, return labels, and sticky labels for sustainable fashion packaging.
Other Sustainable Packaging Tips to Remember
After identifying how much plastic you’re using, your job does not stop there. It’s time to create a plan to find and create long-term solutions.
Below are the other sustainable packaging tips to take into consideration:
Many businesses are afraid of recyclable plastic packaging because of possible performance, functionality, or flexibility issues.
But don’t think the same way as well-established companies are doing a great job in their sustainable packaging. So, there’s nothing to worry about!
Research shows that goods made from recycled materials have a lower carbon footprint and require limited resources, helping you minimize unnecessary costs and protecting the environment in your own little way.
Perhaps, your competitors are following the trend. So, don’t be left behind. Switch now to eco-friendly packaging.
Use Biodegradable Materials
You’ve heard about bioplastic more often than before, so you might be wondering what it is and how it works. Well, it is a flexible, sturdy, and transparent packaging solution that emulates the benefits of plastic as a material. But plastic and bioplastic are different because the latter is fully compostable.
When looking for any supplier of bioplastic and another biodegradable packaging, don’t be ashamed to ask the company a few questions given below:
— How long for the material to biodegrade?
— Is it waterproof?
— What’s the shelf life?
But you don’t have to be technical in finding biodegradable packing options. Paper bags, for instance, are a useful and wise alternative. Although they are not waterproof, paper bags will protect your product from dust and dirt. Plus, they can add a layer of luxury to your items.
Make Your Packaging Reusable
Usually, businesses throw their scraps from collections to landfills. Why don’t you turn them into another bag for lingerie products, jewelry, and other delicate accessories? Not only you can reduce waste, but you’d also increase your ROI. You can search online for some helpful ideas.
Thinner plastics might be your best choice when using less. But there’s a more long-term sustainable and better idea you should try.
When wrapping your product, roll it tightly to make it smaller.
Another useful tip is to invest in a trusted biodegradable solution instead of the cheapest package. While it might cause a dent in your savings account at first, it would be more cost-effective over time.
If you don’t practice sustainable packaging yet, it’s time to make it happen as early as now. Yes, the transition is always the hardest phase of the process. But your efforts will pay off.
Climate change and global warming are a never-ending phenomenon. But as we work together, everything is possible!