The damages caused to our beautiful planet by humankind are seen today like never before. The demands from industrial and economic development are putting increasing pressure on many of the world’s precious natural resources that have finite availability. Producing eco-friendly packaging material uses both energy and raw material resources. Since many businesses use packaging on a daily basis, it is important that the packaging is manufactured using biodegradable or recyclable materials in order to minimise the use of new resources and reduce the carbon footprint. Sustainably-sourced and biodegradable packaging not only improves our future, but directly impacts our present to a positive extent, helping to facilitate an environment of responsibility, ethical business, and a community of positive impact and hope for a better future.
Our obligation to use sustainable, eco-friendly packaging, ecologically-sound packaging is about more than just our obligation to the free market, to enterprise and merchandising, but to one another and the world which we live in.
Plastic waste pollutes our world in a way that is eminently visible, both in the grand scale of remaining in environments for centuries, and also the small, everyday woes of living in a world contaminated by microplastics and trash. Fishing waste and packaging can be found nearly everywhere, tangling in foliage and in the stomachs of animals, posing hidden risks for playing children and even becoming microscopic particles that we breathe.
One way of reducing this omnipresent risk and contributing to a more pleasant environment is to use more biodegradable packaging materials, like compostable wraps, beeswax cellophane, and even plastic-appearing bags that dissolve in water, made from starch. These solutions often pose minimal adjustments, and, with little expense to the companies that employ them, greatly improve the lives of their customers and manufacturers alike.
We all depend on the health of the natural world, whether directly or indirectly, and so we have an obligation to keep it healthy ourselves. Many factors contribute to the health of our environment, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation for land usage, and, not the least of which, the long-term effects of waste materials and our inability to incorporate widespread solutions for the disposal and handling of packaging waste.
While much has been undertaken by the consumer, using reusable fabric bags and recycling plastics whenever possible, much still has to be done on the part of the manufacturer, in order for these changes to have long-lasting positive influences. With the reach and influence large companies have that individuals sadly do not possess, a global move among companies towards biodegradable and reusable materials in their packaging, which consume fewer non-renewable resources to create and do not permanently alter the biosphere, can be a massive positive effect on the health and happiness of the world as a whole. While such futures seem abstract and nebulous as we are right now, this change is more possible today than ever.
Every day, new technologies are being created and implemented, becoming cheaper and less energy-costing to bring into our world. The idea of using materials that are eco-friendly, biodegradable, and even compostable, is not only possible and cost-efficient, but convenient. We can hardly expect new packaging to take the form of paper straws that dissolve as soon as you use them, but rather, in many cases, new, eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and contaminants are just as sturdy and usable as their outdated counterparts.
Looking at the near future, it is more believable now than ever that it will be a time of responsible technological innovation. After all, if we do not begin to innovate now, it will only become harder to do in the future we create without these changes.