Plastics are among the most sought-after materials when it comes to packaging applications. They are cost-effective, durable, lightweight, versatile, reusable (depending on the type of plastic) and easily printable, among many other benefits. However, the plastic packaging industry is also one of the most tightly regulated and for a good reason. Like many types of packaging, plastic packaging is likely to end up in landfills after use. Since the material is typically non-biodegradable, it is harmful to the environment if not handled correctly during disposal. Therefore, if you are thinking of setting up a plastic packaging manufacturing business, you must be sensitive to such issues. Here are a few crucial things to keep in mind.
Use Recyclable Plastics
Plastics are available in many different types. It's imperative to focus on the recyclable types of plastics only. Some of these options include high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene. Recyclable plastic packaging will be good for both the environment and your business in terms of promoting sustainability. Among the notable benefits to the environment are reduced pollution to the ecosystems and space-saving benefits to the depleting landfill space. Therefore, design plastic packaging for recycling. You can do this by avoiding combining different plastics or mixing them with other materials such as metals.
If you are manufacturing plastic bottles, consider wider necks to help make washing easier at the recyclers. Also, direct printing to plastics may not be ideal as it can interfere with the automated sorting process at the recycler, making it challenging to identify the type of plastic. If you use inks for printing, avoid heavy metal inks. They can contaminate the plastic during recovery at the recycler. For sleeves and seals, ensure they are entirely detachable to keep them from being considered contaminants and making it difficult to recycle the plastic.
Consider Reusable Plastics
Reusable plastic packaging is another crucial idea to help your business remain sustainable. Therefore, design your packaging in a way that allows for reusability. Reusable plastic packaging also has its share of benefits. One of the top advantages of these packaging types is that they minimise the plastics being sent to landfills, enhancing sustainability. Also, most reusable plastics tend to be recyclable at the end of their service life, giving the best of both worlds. Stand-up pouches are options to consider when thinking of reusable plastic packaging designs, especially in the loose foods, medicine or cosmetic industries.