Chemical & Material


Innovation in Packaging to Reduce Landfills

Pooja Gangwal

Pooja Gangwal

May 29, 2019
Innovation in Packaging to Reduce Landfills

Plastic, as a material, has changed the way of food is sold and stored. It is estimated that packaging holds more than a quarter of plastic across the world. Plastic offers effective food protection and increases the shelf life of a product. However, wanton usage of plastic has created the issue of overflowing landfills, pollution, and a huge amount of non-biodegradable waste. In the light of these concerns, the world is leaning toward initiatives that will resolve the issue of plastic used in packaging that is turning oceans into landfills, choking its natural ecosystems to a fatal end.

There are various items that we use in our everyday lives, which find their way to the daily pile of garbage. This results in heaps of garbage that are dangerous to the environment, thus bringing focus on crucial 3Rs of reducing, reuse, and recycle. Landfill waste causes major problems as it impacts both the environment and the economy. The low decomposition rate and the depleting land as a resource is leading to vast acres of infertile land and creating a larger question of disposal. Numerous acres of land have been rendered useless land for agriculture

Packaging is a crucial part of logistics, boxing, and shipping. In every industry, especially, food and beverages, cosmetics, and retail industries manufacturers are passionate about packaging their products in an attractive manner to lure attention. Furthermore, online retailers and supermarkets are also responsible for the excessive use of plastics, of which most are non-recyclable.

It is, thus, very important to devise eco-friendly solutions to reduce the landfills. Companies are planning to invest in recycling infrastructure for designing sustainable packaging materials and promoting recycling culture. In addition, companies are also planning to invest in consumer education about achieving sustainability in the packaging.

In recent years, several brands have taken initiatives to reduce the use of plastics. For instance, one of the top brands such as Nestle has made a commitment that by the end of 2025, the company will be making 100% recyclable or reusable packaging.

●    Shaping a Waste-Free Future

Beyond keeping the promise, the company's aim is to stop leaking of plastic into the environment across all operations. Nestle has joined its forces with one of the resource management company, Veolia to work on gathering, sorting, and recycling plastic material. This project will work on across the regions such as Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

●    Pioneering Alternative Materials

The company also announced the creation of the Nestle Institute of Packaging Sciences in December 2018, to develop sustainable packaging materials and work together with the industry partners to start research and innovation activities. From the period 2020-2025, the company will stop using all plastic products that are non-recyclable and rolling out a substitute method for packaging materials.

●    Driving New Behavior

The company is taking up an immediate action to avoid plastic waste and also makes a sense and explore alternatives ways such as compostable materials, paper-based, and biodegradable materials

Conclusions and Future Research of Packaging

The importance of packaging management has become relevant because of new expectations and innovation in packaging materials and methods. The environmental impact of the waste and packaging material has risen due to the quality and the quantity of such discharged materials. The use of 3Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle - in the supply chain is thus fundamental to making a global change in the near future.

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