With the rise of environmental consciousness, people are more aware of the harmful effects of plastics. Nowadays, consumers start to scrutinise how various companies handle their packaging methods and materials, with 69% of consumers said that their purchasing decisions are influenced by company’s ethical values and 42% of them will boycott unethical and unsustainable brands. Thus, it puts more pressure on companies to appear environmentally friendly in the eyes of the public. This brings us to the evergreen trend of eco-packaging as more sustainable and decomposable packaging material as alternatives to reduce the usage of plastics. Here is how to improve company image by adopting these sustainable packaging materials.

1. Sugarcane (Bagasse)
packaging material made from sugar cane

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Sugarcane is such a wonder. Not only does it provide us with its sweet-tasting juice, but we can also use it in packaging. Bagasse is the dry fibrous residue that is left after the sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Hence, bagasse is 100% safe for manufacturing into food packaging, and users need not worry about it containing harmful substances like BPA. Moreover, bagasse is a safe food packaging material as it is suitable for storing both hot & cold food, and it is microwave safe.

2. Mushroom roots (Mycelium)
packaging material made from mushroom roots

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Did you know mushrooms can be used in packaging? Yes, they might look small and soft, but they can also contribute to sustainable packaging in their own ways. Agricultural byproducts like oat hulls, cotton burrs, and husks are grounded and pressed into the desired shape that will hold the packaged item. The mushroom spores will be seeded on it, and mycelium (mushroom’s root structures) will start to grow throughout the structure. The mushroom roots will bind the agricultural byproducts together to form a durable packaging material. The final procedure would be using heat to stop the mushroom roots from growing further. They can be shaped into coolers or as containers to store wine bottles.

3. Seaweed
packaging material made from seaweed

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Seaweed is cheap and easy to harvest and turn it into packaging material. Just a mere 0.03% of the brown seaweed in the world can replace all the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles used every year. Its abundance makes it easier for us to reduce our excessive use of plastic. What’s more attractive about seaweed packaging is that it is edible, tasteless, and could be used to store food. The seaweed-based Edible Drink Capsules were handed out at the 2019 London Marathon to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated during marathons. We can make edible capsules, straws, and films from this natural resource.

4. Palm trees
plates made from palm trees

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The palm trees near us could turn into sustainable packaging. Its tree leaves are washed and shaped by hydraulic pressing and heat. The palm tree leaves are smoothed, polished, and made into plates, bowls, and utensils. Moreover, they can withstand heat, so it is safe to use them in microwaves and ovens.

5. Corn starch
carrier bag made from corn starch

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This is another type of bioplastic, sustainable packaging that is made from plant-based materials. They are highly similar to plastic as they can be made into takeaway cups, plates, and containers. Moreover, they emit lesser greenhouse gases as compared to the production of plastics, making them more environmentally friendly than plastics.

We can make takeaway cups, plates, and containers and reduce plastic usage with this biodegradable corn-starch packaging. Moreover, the production of corn-starch bags emits lesser greenhouse gases as compared to plastics, making them more environmentally friendly than plastics.

5. Casein
packaging made from casein (milk)

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It supersedes plastic in blocking out oxygen, thus prolonging the expiry date of food. As it degrades within 18 days, researchers have incorporated citrus pectin to make it more resistant to humidity and high temperatures. Therefore, for food products with short expiry dates, suppliers can choose to consider a more sustainable option like casein.

5. GreenWrap
Greenwrap packaging

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GreenWrap is an alternative to plastic bubble wrap. It provides a cushioning and protective effect on products. The paper is 100% recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable. What’s more environmentally friendly about this packaging material is that it is manufactured using either SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified materials or recycled content. It also takes up less storage space than bubble wrap. Additionally, companies can save on sticky tape as the GreenWrap can grip itself when folded.

6. Recycled paper
recycled paper packaging product

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Paper is more recyclable as compared to plastics and is commonly used in our daily lives too. In 2018, people recycled 68.1% of the paper products that they have used, as compared to a mere 4% of plastics only, illustrating a high paper recovery rate. In the same year, L’Oreal Paris turned recycled paper and clay shampoo bottles for its new brand—Seed Phytonutrients. Thus, it illustrates that the retail industry is making efforts in becoming more environmentally friendly.

7. FSC paper
FSC paper

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Paper that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified means that they are composed of virgin tree fibres which reduce the effort to recycle them. Moreover, FSC-certified wood suppliers are socially responsible, and they plant more trees and are harvested, protect endangered forests, and thus creating a more sustainable environment.

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The types of packaging materials mentioned earlier in the article are the attempts done to conserve nature. With technological advancement, people are discovering more innovative materials to reduce the usage of plastics and making more conscientious efforts done to go green. At Craftwerkz, we are specialised in creating novel packaging designs that are environmentally friendly. We dedicate our time and effort in being sustainable, take pride in contributing to a more sustainable environment, and generating eco-friendly products that meet the requirements of our clients.  Therefore, we offer a more sustainable option of FSC-certified paper when it comes to creating gifts and product packaging. Contact us at enquiry@craftwerkz.com or call us at 65 9876 1869 for more details.