Plastic packaging – reducing wastage in the home
Can you imagine your life without a container for your shampoo? How would you purchase yoghurt if it weren’t for the packaging it was presented in? Packaging is an essential part of modern day living and offers numerous benefits to consumers. Without packaging, it would be very difficult, or near impossible, to expend products effectively.
Not only does packaging protect vulnerable products from damage, but it also preserves products thereby contributing to waste reduction of goods by allowing consumers more time to utilise or consume their product.
Packaging prevents waste by keeping a product together and avoiding spillage; it maximises space during the stacking process thereby optimising transport loads and shelf space; and it provides an all-important platform to display important information about the contents, whether nutritional for food items or hazardous for chemical packaging. Not to mention the branding possibilities on the packaging.
Using plastic for packaging provides a multitude of benefits and amongst these, the recyclable benefits alone are immense. Plastic packaging can be recycled many times to create new products such as car components, furniture, building materials and paint pots.
Versatility means that bespoke plastic products are manufactured for customers to best suit consumer needs and to provide optimal on shelf presence.
When considering sustainability and our environment, plastic packaging provides many environmental benefits. It is resource efficient and lightweight, contributing significantly to reduce packaging mass; uses less energy, and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than alternatives. Without it we would be using two-to-three times more resources.*
Hygiene of certain packaged goods is paramount and plastic keeps products free from contamination by means of barrier properties. Food grade certification also ensures that global stringent Food Safety standards are met when food items are packaged using plastic.
Another major benefit is that food waste is curbed when it is packaged in plastic. This is important to note since food production uses far more resources than the packaging that protects it. By packaging food, items such as bananas in a flexible bag can extend their shelf-life by three days and advanced plastic packaging can extend the shelf-life of red meat by up to 10 days. Cucumbers extend their life when wrapped in film by 14 days.
Plastic packaging continues to evolve, and innovations in plastic packaging manufacturing have contributed to keeping food fresh for longer, which reduces wastage in the home.
*Source: The impact of plastic packaging on life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Europe: Executive Summary July 2011, Bernd Brandt and Harald Pilz