RESPONSIBLE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING MATERIALS – SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE TO CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC-BASED PACKAGING MATERIALS
Even as governments across the globe are imposing bans on single use plastics in an endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint and stop further damage to the environment, the world continues to rely heavily on plastic for packaging and an assortment of other applications.
According to an analysis by growth strategy consulting and research firm, Frost and Sullivan, global revenue for the plastics sector is likely to expand at 5% this year, pointing towards the continued and increasing demand for the plastic.
While the demand continues to rise, close to 29.2 million tonnes of plastics have already reached the landfills world over while another 2.7 million tonnes has been incinerated; causing irreversible damage to the environment.
The heavy reliance on plastics has made it imperative for world governments and global manufacturers to innovate and develop sustainable materials that can be delivered as an alternative to plastic to end-users.
The packaging and shipping sector, for example, consumes millions of tonnes of plastic every year but there is a call across industries to reduce dependence on plastics.
Walmart-owned e-commerce giant, Flipkart, recently announced the elimination of single-use plastic packaging from the supply chain. However, such bans and eliminations continue to leave a void in the packaging industry which is grappling for a sustainable alternative.
A front-runner in the race for new materials is biopolymers – polymers produced using compostable and organic matter. Also known as bio-plastics, these plastics are produced using renewable raw materials like dedicated crops, plants ineligible for food and feed production as well as waste feedstock. These plastics not only have the advantage of renewability but also are completely biodegradable and compostable.
Bio-based packaging has thus started making steady in-roads into the market. These can be used to make an assortment of daily use products including carry bags, bottles and food packaging to niche products like agricultural films, laminates and 3D printing filaments.
In line with the global race towards creating sustainable packaging solutions, Safepack Solutions has launched a range of biodegradable/compostable products to meet the needs of the end consumer. Test run on Safepack Compostable Film revealed biological degrading during the composting process sans any distinguishable, visible or toxic residue. The composting process led to a substantial reduction in mass of the film over a period of 5 months – from 53 grams to 13.25 grams. The compostable anti-rust films biodegraded into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. Following extensive research and tests, Safepack Solutions has launched a compostable range including anti-rust films and bags, biopolymer coated paper cup boards, biopolymer coated laminates for food packaging and biopolymer coated paperboards for e-commerce packaging.