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How Compostable Packaging Can Help Save The Planet

As we move through the second decade of the 21st century, humanity continues to tackle one of its greatest challenges to date - the ongoing climate emergency. An overconsumption of the planet’s resources combined with poor waste management and unsustainable living habits has caused global temperatures to increase, plunging our planet into jeopardy. The effects of climate change are far reaching and all pervasive, where the disintegration of our shared environment will eventually lead to the ruin of us all.

 

If we’re to prevail over this impending catastrophe, then global action is required. A move away from fossil fuel consumption and towards sustainable alternatives is essential for our collective survival, where large scale change is vital if we are to stand a chance against this unprecedented global threat.

 

But on a small, everyday level, what is there to be done? Well we can all do our bit to make sustainable choices whilst we wait for the global powers that dominate our lives to make the big decisions. For now, we must look to our everyday habits to make an impact, where we can switch to a low carbon diet, recycle our packaging, and utilise more public transport.

 

For businesses, a move towards sustainable packaging choices can have a big impact, where large companies hand out huge numbers of disposable cups and containers every day. For instance, switching to compostable packaging can result in numerous benefits both for our environment and for your company’s bottom line - read on to find out more about how compostables can help to save the planet.



Compostable packaging

What Is Compostable Packaging?

Compostable packaging is a natural alternative to plastic made from a variety of plant based materials, where these could include wood pulp, cotton and potato starch. Due to their natural makeup, these forms of packaging can break down easily under the right conditions, forming a versatile organic matter that can be repurposed for various uses.

 

Unlike merely biodegradable containers, compostable packaging can break down without leaving any microplastics or toxic remnants behind, meaning that the remaining residue is 100% environmentally safe. Compostable containers require the right conditions to be able to break down fully, where these conditions could be achieved artificially at an industrial composting facility. A combination of microorganisms and humidity facilitate this process, where the resulting biomass can then be harvested.


Nationwide Bans On Single Use Packaging

In recent years, bans have come into place across the UK to prohibit businesses and restaurants from handing out single use plastics to their customers. Scotland implemented their ban in June 2022, whilst England and Wales followed suit in October 2023. These bans cover plastic cutlery and straws, as well as polystyrene food and drinks containers.

 

Because of these new restrictions, businesses will now have to find workable alternatives to single use materials, where these substitutes need to be just as practical as plastic but without the many environmental downsides. Compostable packaging can be one such alternative, as a material that is both sturdy and entirely biodegradable.


How Compostable Packaging Can Help Our Planet

There are many different ways that a switch to compostable packaging can benefit our planet, whether by conserving finite resources or reducing waste. Some of these advantages are discussed below:


Sustainable Alternative To Plastic

One of the key materials that compostable alternatives will replace is plastic, where this has been a popular packaging choice for decades. Plastic is cheap, versatile and hardwearing, making for a great takeaway container option. However, the manufacturing process required to produce plastic emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. The disposal of plastic is also carbon intensive, whether it is sent to landfill, recycled or incinerated. As such, switching to a more sustainable alternative can help to minimise the production of greenhouse gases.


Reduce Waste Sent To Landfill

The most tangible benefit of compostable packaging is that it breaks down much more efficiently than alternatives. This kind of packaging may need to be sent to an industrialised composting facility in order to break down fully, but this process will still be quicker and less carbon intensive than the process of decomposition on a landfill site. When materials are sent to landfill, the breaking down of this waste releases greenhouse gases, whilst polluting local air and water quality. In contrast, compostable materials break down in a concise and non toxic manner, making for a much more environmentally friendly alternative.


Create New Materials

When compostable materials are broken down in the decomposition process, they can then be used to create new things. The raw biomass that is produced at a composting facility can be utilised for soil enrichment and for other agricultural purposes, where this can support the growth of healthy crops on a large scale. Alternatively, the composted items can be remade into new biodegradable packaging, making for a wasteless cycle of manufacturing that is particularly sustainable.


Encourage Widespread Recycling

Once your company makes the choice to use compostable packaging, this can have a huge knock on effect when it comes to the daily habits of your consumers. Not only will customers be looking to recycle the packaging they acquire from your establishment, but this awareness of where their waste ends up could encourage more sustainable buying choices. If you start to use sustainable packaging, then this draws attention to companies that don’t, meaning customers will start to look for alternatives in their everyday lives. As such, your small switch can have a major impact.


Biodegradable Packaging: The Top Benefits For Your Business

Beyond the immediate benefits that compostable packaging can bring for the environment, there are also advantages for you to enjoy as a business. Some of these may include:


Saving Money

Some paper and compostable packaging options will actually be cheaper for your business compared to plastic and single use alternatives, especially if these containers are made from already recycled materials. You may also find that compostable options are lighter and easier to store than more heavy duty traditional materials, helping to streamline your processes in all areas.


Developing A Sustainable Brand

One of the most palpable benefits of switching to compostable packaging is that it allows you to cultivate a sustainable brand identity for your business. Consumers today are looking for companies that reflect their own environmentally conscious ideals, where openly using biodegradable materials can help to keep you at the forefront of this trend. Advertising that you are dedicated to sustainable practices can help to attract new customers to your business, where this can distinguish you from your not so eco-friendly competitors.


Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

More generally, making the switch to a more sustainable packaging type can help to manage the carbon footprint of your business as a whole. Each step of your product manufacturing, sale and distribution contributes to your carbon footprint, where some customers may be interested in your environmental impact to this level of detail. As such, using compostable materials can help you to manage these figures so you can put your greenest foot forward.


Marshall Wilson: Compostable & Recyclable Ice Cream Packaging For Your Business

At Marshall Wilson, we understand the importance of having sustainable packaging options for your business, where we’re determined to equip you with the right materials to make a real positive impact. Our packaging range includes paper based, recyclable and compostable options so you can make the best choice for your carbon footprint. All of these sustainable materials are designed to help your business to comply with new government restrictions on single use plastics and disposable packaging.

 

In addition to ice cream tubs, we also offer a wide range of takeaway packaging, paper coffee cups and bakery containers, meaning we can cater to your needs whatever you’re selling. Our range can provide you with sturdy and dependable containers that suit your product requirements whilst also appealing to your company goal of being more environmentally friendly.

 

So whether you’re looking to package bread, burgers, or banana splits, we’ve got the solution for you – simply get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about our full selection of products.

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