The accumulation of plastics is highly polluting and it is creating an enormous risk for our environment. This issue is especially troubling in the ocean, where big plastic “islands” form spontaneously, killing and damaging a large amount of animals.
The use of plastic has been widespread for decades now, and once we have reached the current situation something needs to be done. Some companies are creating products to clean off that plastic, and some industries are now trying new packaging materials to substitute plastics and start to use more environmentally-friendly options in order to stop the plastic dumping.
One example is the packaging industry, where plastics were used a lot because of its low price, resistance and workability. However, many companies are trying to move towards a greener way of packaging. One example is the company that proposed out latest challenge in which they are looking to an eco-friendly way of packaging water.
Luckily, they are not the only company pursuing this goal. The packaging industry is following two main paths
Eliminating plastic from packages
There are many examples of companies that are trying to substitute the plastic they used in favour of biodegradable materials. One example is Bosch, which has created a new series of packages called Sigpack. These packages are made of cardboard and offer a lot of flexibility, apart from being much less damaging for the environment. They presented this new product in the Interpack 2017 fair, where they stated that they were now able to form, load and close 150 packages per minute.
The Gourmet Sector
Another example is the Gourmet sector, where they have realized that using cardboard wrapping shows a higher quality, apart from being more eco-friendly. Gourmet products need to have a really high quality, but they also need clients to perceive that quality by just looking at the product. This is achieved thanks to non-plastic packages.
Finally, another sector where they are moving out from plastic packages is agriculture. According to the sales manager of Retarder, a company that provides packaging, German retailers are looking for wooden and pulp cells for their collected fruit and vegetables. The type of cells are not only 100% recyclable and biodegradable, but they also prolong shelf-life of products.
Some companies have realised that they will not be able to eliminate plastic from their packages, and they are trying to introduce bioplastics. This new kind of plastics are derived from renewable biomass sources and they are usually biodegradable. This means that they will require less fossil fuels and produce less greenhouse gases, while reducing the amount of wasted plastic around the world. The industry of bioplastic is now starting to boost, and it is forecasted to grow at an annual average rate of 17% until 2022. Many companies are starting to implement this new way of packaging, like big companies such as Coca Cola, Mars and Snickers.
In conclusion, we have seen that industries need to make a move towards the reduction of plastic usage, and many companies are already working on it.
Now you have the opportunity to contribute to this change with our latest engineering challenge, where we look for an eco-friendly way of packing together water bottles. Go on, join us and make our world greener!