While plastic pollutes our oceans, landfills, and even the air we breathe, we must find solutions to reduce our consumption. A good place to start is with the source. Manufacturing of products is already changing how plastic waste is managed, especially in the field of packaging. To reduce the enormous amount of plastic garbage that today clogs our planet, more must always be done to prevent waste. Here are some short tips for reducing waste from plastic packaging and containers in the manufacturing sector.
Why is it so important to address this issue, first and foremost? It is crucial since a significant portion of municipal solid trash is made up of this kind of plastic debris. In 2018, the plastic container sector alone generated almost 14.5 million tons of waste. Container and package garbage is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as goods that are intended to be thrown away the same year as their contents are consumed. This group of products includes soft plastic food packaging, polyethylene terephthalate water and soft drink bottles, transportation packages, and other things.
An alarming rise in shipping and packaging supplies that are intended to protect the contents of packages has been observed recently. Food distribution and online buying have both contributed to the rise. In contrast to predictions made in 2019, an analysis from 2021 shows that during the COVID-19 epidemic, Amazon’s production of plastic packaging waste surged by 29%.
In the absence of immediate action, food distribution waste will increase along with the global population. This industry uses a lot of soft plastic packaging, which is challenging to recycle. Nearly 50% of food packaging and 41% of all packaging are made of these multi-material items, also referred to as “film” or “flexible packaging,” which are intended to keep germs and moisture out.
What can be done to alter these products’ packaging to cut down on waste? Producers must first take all reasonable steps to manage their plastic waste more effectively. One way is to implement a strict program to control waste through reduction, reuse, and recycling. Another choice is to create eco-friendly materials and processes.
Although it is easier to recycle materials like glass, paper, and cardboard, they might not be as cost-effective. New techniques are now available for conserving energy and trash while maintaining packaging that is safe for food. Thermal sealing, for instance, can be replaced by ultrasonic sealing. This tactic, when combined with paper products, can assist businesses in achieving their sustainability objectives by producing a more sustainable product.
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to the problem of plastic waste pollution. There is a lot of work to be done globally to undo the damage already done. However, a difference might be made immediately now by focusing on updating packaging at the point of manufacture and adopting cutting-edge production methods.
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