We need to find ways to consume less plastic despite the fact that it pollutes our oceans, landfills, and even the air we breathe. The source is a fantastic place to begin. The management of plastic waste is already changing as a result of product manufacturing, particularly in the area of packaging. More must always be done to prevent waste in order to reduce the massive amount of plastic trash that currently blights our globe. The industrial sector may reduce waste from plastic packaging and containers by following these simple guidelines.
Why is this such a pressing issue? It is important because this particular type of plastic debris makes up a sizable component of municipal solid waste. An estimated 14.5 million tons of garbage were produced in the plastic container industry alone in 2018. The Environmental Protection Agency defines container and package waste as products that are meant to be thrown away the same year that their contents are used. Soft plastic food packaging, polyethylene terephthalate water and soft drink bottles, shipping containers, and other items fall under this category of goods.
It has been claimed that the amount of packaging and shipping goods utilized to safeguard shipments’ contents has quickly increased lately. Online shopping and food distribution both contributed to the increase. In contrary to estimates made in 2019, a 2021 research reveals that Amazon’s production of plastic packaging waste increased by 29% during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Food distribution waste will rise alongside global population if prompt action is not taken. This sector uses a lot of soft plastic packaging, which is challenging to recycle. These multi-material objects, often known as “film” or “flexible packaging,” which are designed to keep bacteria and moisture out, make up about 50% of food packaging and 41% of all packaging.
What packaging changes could be made to these products to reduce waste? Companies must, first and foremost, take all reasonable steps to manage their plastic trash more efficiently. Implementing a stringent program to manage trash through recycling, reuse, and reduction is one way. Another option is to create ecologically friendly items.
Despite being simpler to recycle, recyclable materials like glass, paper, and cardboard might not be as cost-effective. There are now creative solutions to preserve food-safe packaging while conserving waste and energy. Ultrasonic sealing can be used to replace thermal sealing. This technique, when used in conjunction with paper products, can help organizations achieve their sustainability goals by resulting in a more environmentally friendly product.
Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to the pollution caused by plastic rubbish. To repair the harm already done, a great deal of global work needs to be done. However, by concentrating on modernizing packaging at the point of manufacture and utilizing cutting-edge production techniques, a shift can be noticeable right away.
For more details on reducing waste from plastic packaging, see the infographic given below.