A lot has been spoken about the amount of plastic waste generated in our country.
Not to our surprise, more than 26,000 tons of plastic waste is generated and around 10,000 tons remain uncollected each day!
The versatility and convenience of plastic items make us more addicted to them. And once their work is done and discarded, they pose a massive threat to the ecosystem.
The increasing environmental degradation and its awareness among the population have given rise to many innovative alternatives to this ubiquitous material embedded in our lives. One of these is Eco-friendly packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging is also known as sustainable packaging or green packaging.
Eco-Friendly packaging material must be biodegradable (capable of being broken down or decomposed rapidly by the action of microorganisms), recyclable, reusable, non-toxic, made from recycled products, based in biomass or natural products or manufactured through low-impact means. The sources for developing renewable and biodegradable polymer materials are derived from agricultural products (such as starch, proteins, cellulose and plant oils).
The food industry plays a huge role when it comes to preserving the environment with eco-friendly or recyclable packaging. From store-bought products to take-out and delivery food, eco-friendly packaging can be integral to helping the environment because food packaging and single-use plastic items continue to fill landfills in our cities. It is all too often made up of plastics and materials that pollute the environment and litters the oceans, killing aquatic animals.
To cater to the growing demand for eco-friendly packaging products, vendors are introducing biodegradable and sustainable forms of packaging.
The Coca Cola Company launched its Plant Bottle, which is partially made from bio-based plastics, while Danone is using PLA for its yogurt cups.
Emerging trends in biodegradable packaging
- Corn- Corn kernels are being used to create a biodegradable plastic out of PLA (Polylactic Acid), an industrial resin by many companies.
- Plant Fibers- Cellulose from plant matter is extensively being used to manufacture biodegradable packaging material.
- Bamboo- Bamboo has gained recent importance because of its amazing structural properties and an alternative to paper and plastic.Centaur Packaging, an Australian company uses bamboo to manufacture plates, bowls, cutlery.
- Wood Fibers- Wood Pulp is used to create paper and can be recycled into other paper products.
- But UK- based Innovia Films takes the wood pulp and creates a cellulose-based film that is similar to plastic.
- Mushrooms- Mycelium from mushrooms and other fungi consisting of threads is used for packaging of products– and can also be combined with seed husks for use as an alternative to polystyrene/styrofoam packaging.
Where to find Eco-Friendly Packaging In India?
- Eco ware Packaging company, New Delhi
- Pappco India
- Save Globe
Small Changes Matter!
In a recent article by a leading newspaper, a picture captioned ‘Ice cream served in a banana leaf cup with a bamboo spoon’.The picture was first posted by Initiative United North-East and grabbed a lot of attention because of the innovative idea. Incorporating of banana leaves and bamboo spoons is a great eco-friendly alternative because they are bio-degradable and leave no plastic waste behind.
Over to you
The current Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji has announced to ban all single-use plastic from 2nd October. As a responsible citizen, you should commit to choose eco- friendly alternatives and do your bit to save the environment. Go Green!