Doing your bit for reducing your carbon footprint is so important now more than ever. It can be hard to know what to buy or switch up in your food routine because, when food shopping, sometimes your first immediate thought isn’t the packaging; it’s the food inside of it. But with so many companies now recognizing the effect their packaging is having on the environment, they’re starting to switch to an eco-friendlier solution. Here are some of the best and some of the worst packaging materials.
You may have heard of the term single-use plastic. Single-use plastic examples include plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic fruit containers etc. It is convenient, but it is really damaging to our planet. Plastic never decomposes; it just breaks up into tiny pieces of plastic called microplastics. They are then spread around the world, traveling through water, wind or even planted in the ground. With these microplastics being spread all over the world, it isn’t just damaging to the environment, but us too; animals will eat these microplastics which will then in turn be found in our food.
In no way is metal packaging worse than single-use plastic, but it still isn’t great for the environment. Not because of the post use effect, but making these metal cans, for example, uses so much energy which then creates greenhouse gases. Metal cans are easier to recycle and can even be used as planters or pots around the house when decorated, but what most people overlook is the act of making the metal itself.
Packaging that is made from biodegradable materials is a great way to contribute to the environment. Biodegradable means that the material can completely break down and return to nature quickly and efficiently. The difference between these materials and single use plastics is that the plastics stay in tiny little pieces, whereas biodegradable materials return to the earth safely and fully decompose quickly.
Similar to biodegradable materials, compostable materials go the extra mile and actually help the earth as it’s breaking down. As the materials start to decompose, nutrients are released so the earth is getting back a lot of the goodness it so badly needs. Compostable materials are often made from plant based and recycled materials.
Resealable Food Packaging
If you are finding it difficult to switch absolutely everything in your food shop to an eco-friendly solution, try taking it one step at a time. Recognize the worst packaging in your shop and look around to see if there is an eco-friendlier option. Or, on the other hand, looking for packaging with resealable features is a great way to increase the longevity on the shelves. If you are looking to create your own product packaging with high-quality colors and logos, resealable packaging is a great sustainable option.
It is important to recognize sustainable packaging but to also know the effects of bad packaging too. This way, you are more likely to think about it when you do your shopping next.
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