We know pollution waste from plastic packaging is unhealthy for the environment, but does it make us sick as well? Why are plastic-free product packaging alternatives increasing, and will it improve our health as well as the Earth’s? There is a rise in new, innovative product packaging materials avoiding plastic use for a more sustainable alternative.
Unfortunately, a recent study found that nearly 40 percent of plastic is manufactured solely for disposable packaging. As a result, within seconds of opening up a package, too often, plastic materials are quickly discarded and added to the growing pile of landfill waste.
Thankfully, it’s a problem that has many people’s attention, along with a growing number of solutions. So let’s first explore in more detail how plastic impacts our health.
How is Plastic a Human Health Issue?
The most prevalent materials in older generations were glass, paper, cotton, etc. These days, plastic has dominated the materials we interact with the most.
According to toxicologist, Professor Vethaak, “We are dealing with a human health issue.” So how does plastic negatively impact our health? Research collected by the Plastic Health Coalition explains three significant ways this occurs.
- Plastic breaks down into microplastics that end up in the foods and beverages we consume, causing harm to our bodies after consumption.
- Plastics and microplastics often attract harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of infection entering our bodies.
- Plastics containing chemical additives are associated with infertility, hormonal disorders, ADHD, Autism, and other serious health concerns.
While these findings are sobering to the plastic problem, teams of innovators constantly seek solutions to address any environmental and biological crisis we face. Plastic-free alternatives are leading innovative research as growing concern rises. In addition, new sustainable packaging developments offer beneficial ways to continue packaging products with as little to no dependence on plastic.
More Sustainable Packaging Alternatives
In response to the growing problem with plastic packaging, these alternatives are increasingly used for all types of packaging:
- Stainless steel
- Platinum silicone
- Beeswax-coated cloth
- Natural fiber cloth
- Pottery and Other Ceramics
- Corrugated Material
More unique packaging alternatives include:
- Pressed hay
- Banana Leaves
- Polymers: Using naturally occurring polymers such as cellulose, wool, silk protein, etc.
- Mushroom (Mycelium): A compostable approach using these threads is to bind together with wood chips and agricultural excess to provide sustainable packaging. The material can then be used to replace styrofoam packaging as it’s dried.
Breaking the Plastic Habit is Possible
Breaking the plastic habit starts with awareness and the intentional use of alternative options. It is easy to use what’s familiar, but more rewarding for the planet and everyone on it when opting for more biodegradable options.
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to re-think your plastic dependency and explore other ways of achieving the same packaging results. To expand your reduction of plastic use, check out this article for ideas to create a plastic-free home and shopping environment.
Pioneer Packaging Custom Designs Product Packaging
For over 35 years, Pioneer Packaging has been the go-to source for designing product packaging that sells. Our creative designers work closely with you to ensure your brand is recognized for quality in packaging design and materials.
So whether you’re looking to get your paper product packaging at affordable prices or attract new consumers, we can create a design fit for you. We strive to keep costs down as much as possible to help our customers keep their brands moving along production lines.
Contact Pioneer Packaging today and learn why we’re a leader in packaging innovation.