The conversation about planet-friendly packaging has hit peak levels. In fact, a Nielsen study found that 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Major brands like Loreal and Nestles are listening to their customers by setting environmentally conscious goals with deadlines that are around the corner. So how does that square with the explosive growth of the flexible packaging market?
While most flexible packaging materials contain some plastic, there are numerous eco-friendly aspects to it, especially compared to rigid packaging.
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Why Is Flexible is Planet-Friendly Packaging?
- Less Material: Flexible packaging requires less material overall, and 60 % less plastic than rigid. It also uses fewer resources during production, including water and fossil fuels.
- Lower CO2 Emissions: Since there is less material required to make the same product, the amount of energy needed to convert the raw material into finished packaging is reduced. This decreases total greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the carbon footprint.
- Transportation benefits: Because flexible packaging is usually shipped either flat or on a roll, a larger number of packages can be shipped on a truck versus rigid packaging. Because fewer trucks and pallets are needed, energy consumption and the use of other valuable natural resources are reduced.
- Less Landfill Space: Flexible packaging requires less landfill space than other packaging options and comprises only 4 percent of the packaging material in landfills.
- Recycled and Compostable: Significant strides have been made in sustainable flexible packaging materials. Recyclable options are made from 100% Polyethylene (PE) films, while compostable flexible packaging is biodegradable. Be careful with these “green” materials though, because they may not provide enough barrier for creams, liquids, and oil-based products
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