Before the COVID-19 crisis began, there was a lot of enthusiasm for organizations to utilize more sustainable packaging materials and a demand to use less packaging whenever possible. Since then, the use of sustainable packaging has been called into question and the use of single-use packaging has risen. The question now is, will sustainable packaging recover once this crisis is over?
Litter Will Outlast COVID-19
According to the Solid Waste Association of North America, there has been a substantial increase of single-use gloves and masks ending up as litter. Some municipalities have even suspended recycling initiatives due to the safety concerns of their communities. The call for better waste management and packaging solutions will follow once we’ve made it out of this crisis. Many companies are anticipating a decline in sales, which is likely to impact their sustainability packaging operations. However, many businesses are still focused on providing eco-friendly products to their customers.
Is Reusable Packaging Safe?
While many stores and restaurant chains have disallowed customers to use reusable items, it does not necessarily mean they are unsafe. In fact, depending on how consumers handle their packaging, they can decrease exposure by owning and properly cleaning their reusables. The same concerns about cleanliness can be applied to single-use packaging. When we go grocery shopping, we are still handling products that have been touched. We cannot rule out the possibility that single-use packaging can expose waste management workers down the line.Once we overcome this pandemic, businesses and consumers should reinvest their efforts in providing and purchasing sustainable products.
At Pioneer Packaging, we fully support the use of eco-friendly packaging and the benefits they have on brands and our environment.
If you are looking to transition your packaging into something more sustainable, do not hesitate to learn how we can help!