A renewable resource is a natural resource that replenishes after usage or consumption. With true renewable resources, they renew themselves fairly quickly and that is how they overcome resource depletion.
At Co-Motion Packaging Solutions, we sell and promote the use of many products made with renewable resources including Polylactic Acid (PLA) as an alternative to plastic as well as fiber products made from sugarcane. The biopolymers that are the building blocks for PLA products are derived from corn crops. Our supplier partners choose the most sustainable partners in this process.
Biopolymers and plant-based plastics are always evolving and as we continue to grow their prominence in the marketplace, the innovation will continue to sore.
There are some astonishing numbers out there when it comes to chemicals that are produced year after year that are deemed “hazardous to human health".
California’s Proposition 65 is one of the world’s most comprehensive list of chemicals that are potentially hazardous to human health including cancer causing and known to cause reproductive harm.
Most of the materials on this list are used in the petroleum-based plastics industry.
Co-Motion Packaging Solution is committed to sourcing and supplying alternative packaging material options that are in compliance with food safety and environmental health regulations across the supply chain.
For example, the Polylactic Acid (PLA) products we stock and distribute do not include Bisphenol A (BPA), Phthalates, Latex or any chemicals found on the Proposition 65 List.
Compostable packaging will break down to a soil like material in a controlled commercial facility within 180 days. If a package is labeled compostable than they should use the ASTM D6400 standards to test composability and meet the rigorous standards of third-party certifications for composability like the Compost Manufacturing Alliance or the Biodegradable Products Institute.
You can find click here to find a composter in your area or determine if your customers are living in area that has access to commercial facilities.
Packaging that ends up in landfills and begins to degrade to some extent. If you choose plant-based packaging, you can rest assured that no harmful chemicals will leach into the water table or soil when this degradation occurs.
Recycling (also know as Material Recovery) itself is a for profit sector. Some materials such as paperboard and metal are highly desirable to resell and therefore these items have a higher recovery rate. When products are not favoured by the market, such as recovered plastic or even glass, the Material Recovery Facilities will not spend time sorting these products and they can easily end up in the landfill.
Plastic is a material of choice by many product manufactures because of it’s lightweight compared to metal or glass and the ability to add extra properties to the packaging like UV additive to block sunlight from causing product degradation of the finished good. One problem with plastics however is that recyclers tend to sort only the most valuable after-market plastics like PET from beverage bottles and HDPE from laundry soap containers and milk jugs. The other plastics that do not fit in here likely get trashed.
The system of recycling is determined not to be the solution the world had once hoped for. As consumers become educated and concerns grow over the environment, their buying habits begin to reflect this shift. Choosing a more sustainable packaging solution isn’t just good for the planet, it is good for business
Sustainability is a conscious effort in the development process of anything to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In business, it is the three pillars of People, Planet and Profit which work together towards the future.
On the surface we can quickly see that no package is truly 100% sustainable however there is almost always something we can do to develop or change packaging to become more sustainable. Through education of brands, manufactures and consumers, we can work towards a circular economy, reducing waste and increasing profitability across all levels of the supply chain. We also need to ensure that we avoid greenwashing in our branding and misleading our customers.
There are several principles we can look to design or upgrade our packaging to become more sustainable.
Some of these principles include:
As food safety is top of mind for most retailers and consumers, it is important to understand the role packaging has in food safety systems.
Packaging, though often considered second over the product itself, is very important to keeping your product safe. Quality packaging prevents your product from being damaged or tampered with in the supply chain. You can use packaging to give instructions to your consumer about proper handling and cooking procedures to ensure they do not become ill after consuming your product. You also use packaging to alert your customers of allergens within your product. This is very important and undeclared allergens on a label are one of the top reasons for product recalls across North America.
On the other hand, packaging can easily become a food safety risk as materials used can quickly become a source of contamination if not managed. For instance, a glass jar that is manufactured incorrectly could contain mold deformations like shard shards that could break off into your food product. Incorrectly manufactured packaging can also cause you to stop your production line and cost you time and efficiency while also increasing your food safety risk with your product to be packaged as it sits idle.
As awareness and concerns grow, larger companies are mandating that packaging suppliers become Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certified with third party companies like British Retail Consortium (BRC), FSSC22000 and the Safe Quality Food (SQF) program.