Alternatives to replace single use plastics

Gaurav Jalan, founder and director, Packman Packaging spotlights the present market trends related to single use plastics and its alternatives

16 Oct 2023 | By Gaurav Jalan

Gaurav Jalan of Packman Packaging talks about single use plastics

In recent years, global awareness of the environmental threats posed by single-use plastics has spurred a shift towards sustainable packaging alternatives. Single-use plastics have become a pressing problem for the planet's health. Fortunately, several eco-friendly packaging options are emerging as effective substitutes, offering a way to reduce plastic waste while promoting sustainability.

Paper packaging stands out as one of the most broadly adopted alternatives to single-use plastics. It boasts biodegradability, recyclability, and compostability, making it an eco-friendly choice. Paper bags, boxes, and pouches are commonly used for various products, from groceries to clothing.

Cardboard, a higher GSM type of paper, presents another good alternative to single-use plastics. It is commonly used for packaging electronics, appliances, and shipping boxes. Cardboard is known for its sturdiness and ability to withstand rough handling during transportation.

Glass is a classic and sustainable alternative for packaging liquids and food products. It is non-toxic, inert, and endlessly recyclable. Glass containers are hugely used for beverages, sauces, and cosmetics. Metals like aluminum and steel, are durable and highly recyclable materials usually, employed for various packaging purposes. Aluminum cans, for example, are widely used for beverages, while steel is favored for canned goods.

Biodegradable plastics are made to naturally break down, decreasing their environmental impact. These plastics are obtained from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane. They can be used in packaging, bags, and cutlery. Edible packaging takes sustainability to a completely new level by which is biodegradable and can be in direct contact with the food or beverage. Certain instances include edible water bubbles and edible wrappers for products in the form of candies and energy gels.

Fabric and cloth bags, manufactured from materials such as cotton or jute, serve as reusable alternatives to plastic bags. They are mostly used for shopping, gift wrapping, and promotional items. These bags can be used constantly and are biodegradable.

Beeswax wraps provide an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap and aluminum foil. These wraps are crafted from cotton infused with beeswax, resin, and jojoba oil. They can be used to wrap food items, cover bowls, and fulfill various storage needs.

Plant-based plastics, known as PLA (polylactic acid), are derived from renewable sources like cornstarch or sugarcane. PLA is used for packaging, cutlery, and even 3D printing materials. It is compostable under specific conditions.

Wooden packaging, including crates and boxes, stands as a sustainable option, specifically, for bulk or heavy items. It can be reused or repurposed, and wood itself is a renewable resource.

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental risks posed by single-use plastics, the demand for sustainable packaging alternatives is increasing. These eco-friendly options present a promising path towards reducing plastic waste while promoting sustainability. The choice of the most suitable packaging material depends on factors like the type of product, desired durability, and environmental considerations.

With consumers and businesses giving importance to sustainability, the market for these packaging alternatives is expected to expand. Embracing these alternatives not only helps reduce plastic waste but also aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and protect the planet for future generations. Whether it's paper, glass, metal, or innovative solutions like edible packaging, the choices we make in packaging can significantly contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Gaurav Jalan is the founder and director of Packman Packaging

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

21.05%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

10.53%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

21.05%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

47.37%

Total Votes : 19

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