Packaging

Plastic – Bags, bowls, cups and just about every container in the supermarket is in plastic these days. Scary thought as only some of all of those containers are recyclable. And hear that…. that is the “glass” people, crying a river, for the loss of revenue. I kid you not, have a look next time you drink your favourite drink – lined with plastic, so are most of the cores we get today are lined with some sort of thin plastic lining. And my eco-friends pass out by the dozen…

So, what can we use if not the invasion of the “plastic” artillery? What packaging is making inroads and are considered to be “safe”, “green” and “eco” likable?

Enter paper packaging: As reported in the NY Times article “Now the Cosmetic Jar Matters Too,” Physician’s Formula’s Organic Wear makeup comes packaged in mostly-paper compacts and Organic Essence shea butter and lip balms come in biodegradable paper containers. Pangea Organics keeps its bar soaps in a hard paper box.

Ok, stop the bus, one good South African thunderstorm and there goes the R500 “Cosmic Jar” compact and my shea butter lip balm inner melting in my hand as the packaging disintegrates into muck. Ok 10/10 for biodegradability, but what happened to durability people, forget the sentiment… I just paid the earth and now sitting with mush (from the earth) in my hands… not on!

But boy, does it look good and the packaging is something else that’s for sure.

BPA freePlastic FreePackaging

Yet our social media “experts” will not agree as Woolworths felt the brunt after the introduction of the colourful plastic egg containers. WOW did they get lambasted on Social Media. After tedious explanations that the containers could, in fact, be recycled and reused – still no go. The end result – Woolies pulled the whole campaign and we back to the recycled, boring egg containers. Sorry Woolies – great campaign and initiative!

Mmmm makes me wonder do we as a society choose when we want to wear the eco-friendly hat… when it suits us? Bit unfair to old Woolies, considering the magnitude of plastic and NON-recyclable products we use every day. Shouldn’t we rather look at the sustainability of packaging rather than the “plasticity” and get ourselves in a “tizz” about the “egg carton”.

I read an article online – the die line; whereby they said, “that sustainable packaging will not just be in material usage, light weighting and recycling but it will be about empowering consumers with the ability to lead their lives in a more environmental positive way, almost responsibly and effectively.”

Right, some would say that the sustainability movement has evolved consumers perceptions, by making sustainable packaging no longer a bonus, but an “expected” given when Brands produce new products.   Almost by default brands will have to produce designs that are lighter, more recyclable and less wasteful. WOW, wishful thinking! Almost like your cardiovascular surgeon expecting you to miraculously eat healthy after the last checkup – pep talk… TALL ORDER!

Packaging

The Sustainable Expanding Bowl is one such example – designed by Anna Glancen, Hanna Billquist and Swedish research company Innventia, the packaging expands into a bowl that users can eat from when hot water is added.

 

Packaging

Veuve Clicquot has recently produced a bio-degradable pack using potato starch and recycled paper. The key feature is the isothermal properties, that will keep the champagne bottle cool after being removed from the fridge

 

The above indicates that the future of sustainable packaging should not only be about effectiveness and recyclability but also empowering change and reusability in our consumers lifestyles. If they can eat it, or use it they will like it… howler (raised eyebrow)

Still perplexed I come to the conclusion…

Plastic is here to stay, it is how Brands develop, innovate and how they address the eco-sustainability of the product, making it practical and reusable in our lives.

Ren-Flex uses TREOFAN, BOPP film that is recyclable and biodegradable and is doing their bit for the environment. So, on your next shopping trip to the store, make a note to look at how many Brands take your concerns to heart.