In the second series of Planet Earth 11, David Attenborough clutched a handful of plastic waste from the ocean and pleaded with the world to act to clean it up. His powerful words and the graphic scenes of the effects plastic waste has on marine life ignited ‘The Attenborough Effect’, a social movement encouraging people to choose eco-friendly packaging alternatives.
Demand for eco-friendly packaging is on the rise, with plastic, bubble wrap, and styrofoam peanuts replaced by recycled and compostable plastic where possible. The benefits of eco-friendly packaging is seen in its use for food, beauty, clothing and cosmetic products, metal and glass, which is replacing plastic bottles. In New York City, e.g., it’s illegal to use styrofoam packaging. So things are changing, thanks to the efforts eco-friendly packaging companies like Biogone.
Biogone supplies a range of eco-friendly products developed by FieldTech Solutions, a business formed by eco-conscious trio Ross and Ramona Headifen and John Mancarella.
1. Eco-Friendly Packaging Benefits
While we now know the threat it now poses to the environment, almost 50 years ago, plastic was lauded as revolutionary. It was a cheap, lightweight material that found its way into the clothing, building, food, and manufacturing sectors because it could be used to make almost anything, and it lasted forever. The world produces an astonishing 300 million tonnes of plastic annually, 5 trillion bits of plastic float on our oceans and eventually crumbles into tiny particles and sinks, ending up in the food chain and onto our plates.
The aftermath of disposing plastics have appeared in the media, raising public awareness of the problem. As more people are becoming aware of the detriments that traditional plastics cause on the environment, more are looking towards the benefits of using eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Such alternatives in turn provide a cleaner environment for animals, sea life, and us.
2. The Eco-Packaging Industry Provides Accessible Alternatives
Plastic is made with crude oil, natural gas, cellulose, ethylene and propylene, coal and salt, and the process from mining to landfill creates billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases, which is speeding up climate change.
The need for the eco-friendly packaging industry to make these alternatives for storing and marketing food, exporting goods and even selling bakery items and clothing is more important than ever. Australian companies like Biogone are rallying to the call, manufacturing alternatives to near-immortal plastics. These include recycled and biodegradable packaging, and the use of cardboard boxes, with paper filling and biodegradable packing tape for shipping – making them all more accessible to environmentally-conscious consumers.
Biogone’s range of landfill-biodegradable products offer the convenience of using single-use plastics while leaving less harm on the environment as it only takes a few years rather than hundreds for biodegradable bags to decompose.
3. More Eco-Friendly Packaging Options
We’re seeing how possible it is to have more eco-friendly packaging options on a range of common disposable plastics. In a landfill, natural microorganisms digest the biodegradable plastic within a few years rather than hundreds as compared to traditional plastics. Knowing this, landfill-biodegradable products such as those at Biogone help to reduce the amount of plastic waste piled up in landfills- never to be broken down.
With the popularity of the cradle-to-cradle concept (taking responsibility for the whole life cycle and environmental impact of a product) growing, there’s a call for more eco-friendly packaging options. The cradle-to-cradle process involves vast amounts of packaging, but environmentally-conscious businesses now have plenty of options ranging from biodegradable containers to recyclable plastics.
4. Many Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials Are Available
Australians care a lot about recycling, millions join Clean Up Australia campaigns across the country each year, and people have widely accepted the move towards reusable plastic shopping bags. To help reduce environmental impacts and lessen plastic packaging waste, State and Federal Governments have endorsed The Australasian Recycling Label to help consumers know in which bin to put their plastic waste.
Australians have also embraced alternatives to plastic packaging and support eco-friendly packaging companies that make alternative plastic materials. These companies use eco-friendly packaging materials such as bagasse, the dry pulpy residue from sugar cane juice extraction. Some use palm leaf fibres, and bioplastics made from pea and corn starch and vegetable fats to make eco-friendly packaging materials.
These are used to create packaging for beauty products, tools, confectionery, almost anything. At Biogone, we’re committed to the Australian National Packaging Targets, which aims to have all packaging fulfil the RRC criteria: Recyclable, Reusable or Compostable.
5. Convenient Eco-Friendly Packaging For Food and Other Goods
There are plenty of eco-friendly food packaging solutions, and science is experimenting to find more. Biodegradable plastic is replacing virgin plastics in takeaway coffee cups. There are even eco-friendly packaging ideas that means you can still dispose of packaging waste in bins without causing as much environmental damage as before.
In the Netherlands, a supermarket offers eco-friendly packaging alternatives with an aisle devoted to plastic-free packaging. Glass or metal bottles, or goods wrapped in cardboard or compostable-certified plastic replace the traditional. And Guinness has now opted for eco-friendly beer packaging solutions. It glues its six-pack beer cans together rather than using the plastic rings that harm marine animals and birds.
For traditional plastic alternatives used in homes and businesses alike, shop our range of landfill-biodegradable products at Biogone today.