I bought an eco-friendly yoga mat online. I was so happy that I am going to use an eco-friendly product. But the product was delivered in plastic sheets. Plastic sheets did protect my mat but made me feel like a hypocrite. It is so easy to buy eco-friendly products online, but the product packaging is not eco-friendly. What to do?
Packaging materials are usually single-use products. Plastics, styrofoams, polystyrene and other non-biodegradable packaging materials are very convenient to use for packaging. But, they pose a negative environmental effect. With E-commerce, online business is booming. In E-commerce, packing the products is important for safe delivery. More packaging materials are used to ensure the safety of products and not our environment.
Almost all the packaging material is thrown away after unwrapping. All these waste end-up in landfills and oceans.
Plastics need to be banned. But what to do for packaging? Shift to eco-friendly packaging.
There are a lot of green alternatives for packaging. Let’s buy products online with less impact on the environment. It would be amazing to get products delivered with eco-friendly packaging. Hope very soon all the products will be packed with one of the following eco-friendly materials.
1. Starch-based plastics:
Plastic sheets protect the products from liquids. Bubble wrap protects the products from damage. These materials are used for a very long time and are tough to be replaced. Biodegradable plastics are developed to solve the problem. Plastics made from starch are available in most places. Another advantage of these plastics is that most of them are edible hence they are safe to the environment. They are also a safe option for food packaging.
Packaging peanuts are also being produced from starch. But the problem with these materials is the cost of the materials compared to regular plastics.
2. Mushroom-based packaging material:
Mushroom-based packaging materials help to replace polystyrenes. The mycelium in mushroom does the trick of gluing the organic fodder waste into packaging products. Once molded, the fungi’s growth is hindered by heat treatment.
These materials mimic polystyrene that is used in packing fragile goods. Their application varies from packaging to being used as cooler. The best part of these materials is that they are biodegradable and when buried, they enrich the soil fertility.
3. Papers and cardboard:
Paper and cardboard are reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. There are a number of advantages to this type of packaging product, not least the fact that they are readily available. Recycled paper, shredded paper, paper balls and reusable cardboards can be used for packaging.
4. Cloth packaging:
In old days, people used to send parcels packed in cloth. Clothes can be reused many times. Old waste clothes or shredded clothes can be used for packaging. This also ensures a proper management of waste clothes. Jute bags can also be used for packaging.
Use of eco-friendly materials in packaging would develop an environmental concern among the customers. Most of the time, it’s the producer who uses a lot of packaging materials. So, the manufacturers and suppliers could use eco-friendly packaging products by changing their packaging policies. This would reduce the carbon footprint caused by packaging and E-commerce.