Packaging comes in a range of different materials. Sometimes what is used depends on the kind of freight or goods that it needs to protect, other times it is simply a matter of what the company finds cheapest or easiest to use, or what the transport company insists on. Plastic is a much used material that has certain benefits, but it also has a downside in that it takes a long time to break down.
There are several options for eco friendly packaging materials and more are being found as the swing to sustainable practices becomes more important and more popular. Here are some of the most used sustainable packaging materials.
- Cardboard and paper. While they both originate from trees, often it is the waste product from timber that is used. And since both can be used over and over and they break down quickly in landfill leaving no residue they can be considered sustainable. If recycled, other products can be made from them.
- Cornstarch biodegradables. Packaging made from cornstarch break down easily and can be composted. It is often used for takeaway foods or made into pellets that can be used as a filler in boxes or cartons. While it does have a negative impact on the environment when in landfill, this is only for a limited time.