Not only does a plastic bag take seconds to create using polyethylene plastic, produced using coal, oil and petrol; but, most importantly, the average "working life" of a plastic bag is 15 minutes.
As that flimsy sheath of plastic is exposed to sunlight, water and wind, it breaks into smaller and smaller particles called microplastics. These microplastics enter water systems, which we drink, floats on the air we breathe, they're absorbed into the food we eat.
It is estimated that this piece of plastic takes between 500-1000 years to break down. We can only estimate this number because no piece of plastic ever created has degraded. When you start to think of the rise of plastic packaging over the past 4 decades, it is clear we are in the midst of an epidemic. The culture of convenience is literally killing us.
As retailers we have not only have a responsibility to our customers, but also to the environment, and the future generations who deserve to enjoy it as much as we do. Simple changes we make today make a lasting impact on generations to come. So let's have a look at the alternatives.
Biodegradable plastic bags
While biodegradable plastic may seem like a reasonable alternative, it cannot be recycled with other forms of plastic. As it is not separated out, it ends up in landfills with food waste, battery acid, chemicals, paints and electronics and whatever else is around. Deprived of the soil, light and air it requires to decompose, it emits methane gas which is lethal for the environment.
Compostable plastic is definitely a step in the right direction but contrary to popular notions of throwing it on the garden to return to the earth from whence it came, it needs to be industrially composted as backyard compost doesn't reach the required temperatures for it to adequately break down. There may be a composting facility near you for you to arrange collection at your own expense - more are opening as demand grows - but unless compostable plastics are separated out from their toxic brothers it’s a short-sighted solution.
Biodegradable paper bags
Before you lose hope entirely there is another option. Paper bags are made from renewable sources, are recyclable and compostable and will not choke any baby dolphins, cause cancer or clog waterways. Not only are they planet-friendly, they are attractive, trendy and easily branded with your business logo.
Paper packaging is tailored to product requirements. Whether for retail merchandise, food service, pharmacy bags, hardware bags or shipping and mailing, there is a biodegradable paper bag designed for your purpose. Custom design and hot stamping facilities tailor packaging to your brand requirements.
Online retailers have been taking advantage of cost-competitive, sleek and functional paper packaging for years. Make a lasting impression, enhance your brand image and lead the way with innovative packaging solutions.
At Ecology Packaging, we are here to provide attractive and original packaging solutions for e-commerce companies. Our products are made from eco-friendly, organic, recycled, and sustainable materials and/or use renewable energy sources such as solar power, in their manufacture.
Call us today to discuss your business packaging needs.