1. Do Package Recycling Programs Work?

    To answer this question we must first define what it means for the program to work? Does that mean a Target percentage of participation in the recycling program? Does it mean a measurable return on investment by the company? Measuring the true environmental impact to the world at large is nearly impossible, but you can set measurable goals and metrics by which to judge your success.

    I will discuss here the return on investment perspective. However noble a business's intentions with a recycling program, the financial impact to the company is still the number one goal. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs allow a company to make a statement about their commitment to our environment and the betterment of our society.

    Recyclable packaging shows supply chain partners and customers a commitment to sustainability and our impact on the environment. This can lead to an improved reputation with consumers, but does it relate to increased profitability and

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  2. Save the Ocean, Save the World: How to Prevent Plastic from Entering the Ocean

    On July 20, 1969, the world watched as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and spoke those famous words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Since then, the scientific community has had its eyes pointed upwards when right below our feet is a whole other world we need to explore. The World Wildlife Foundation shockingly points out that science knows “more about the moon than the ocean floor.” Earth’s oceans hold some of the greatest mysteries left for mankind, and with our climate crisis nearing the point of no return, we may not ever get to fully explore that great frontier. Our plastic usage over the last seventy years has put us in a dire position, and that is why it is urgent that we reduce plastic in our oceans to save our planet. By exposing the truths about the issues facing our oceans, and in turn, our bodies and then reflecting on how our actions lead us to this point, we can shed some light on new ways to create a healthier future for our oceans and ourselv

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  3. The Existential Threat That is Plastic Pollution

    How many times have you opened a package and had to dig through layers of plastic in order to get to the item you ordered? According to Plastic Oceans packaging makes up 40% of total plastic usage, each year five hundred million plastic bags are used world wide and more than one million are used every minute. Beverage bottles alone take up a great deal of plastic usage, in 2014, 100.7 billion plastic bottles were sold in the U.S. alone, accounting for 315 bottles for each person. Ten million tons of plastic are dumped into our world's oceans annually which is equivalent to more than a garbage truck load per minute and every year, one million marine animals are killed by this plastic pollution. Not only should we be concerned about the wildlife's involuntary consumption of plastic but even humans consume over forty pounds of plastic in their lifetime.

    The tragic reality of plastic pollution that faces us is s grimming look at our future. It pains me to see the streets of my town

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  4. Tiktok: An Unlikely Space for Sustainability Efforts

    From brand owners and retailers, to packaging converters, manufacturers, and suppliers, many value-based businesses are concerned with the future of sustainable packaging, as well as their consumers. The current literature reflects that 37% of U.S. consumers prioritize sustainability when making buying decisions, while 30% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that deliver on sustainability claims. In the past ten years we have seen a movement towards eliminating single-use plastics, utilization of starch-based packaging, and a push to reduce, reuse, and recycle. And yet, with the onset of COVID-19, fast tracking e-commerce usage has presented unique concerns regarding the future of sustainable packaging. Healthcare delivery in particular relies on plastic products in order to meet essential needs better than any other material can. The demand of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) both in terms of medical equipment, as well as resources utilized by businesses (such as

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  5. Single-Use Planet

    Somewhere out there, every piece of plastic you’ve ever seen or touched is still laying around. It may even be inside you, broken down into pieces small enough to be inside the food we eat and the water we drink.

    When I throw away a piece of plastic, I feel guilt. I feel shame, because I feel that by contributing to plastic waste, I’m part of the problem, not the solution. But I only feel that way in the moment, because it’s easy to forget that it is a myth perpetrated by massive corporations that care more about using their wealth and power to keep shareholders complacent than keeping the environment clean that the global scale of global pollution that we see is somehow caused by a widespread lack of personal responsibility and not systemic failure to keep those corporations accountable for their actions. Coca-Cola, for instance, is one of the biggest polluters on Earth.

    It’s obvious why pressure is mounting on large-scale sellers and shipping companies to drop si

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  6. Sustainable Packaging: A Compostable Future with a Plastic Past

    With the coronavirus disease keeping people in their homes the rise of online shopping and the details sales has increased the need for mail by tenfold. And as we approach years on the horizon environmentally friendly packing is taking a rise. People are starting to care about what their leftover packing does to the environment and where it goes. Sustainable packaging has been on the rise because it makes people feel good about their choices when ordering something through the mail.

    The future of sustainable packaging starts with materials. Companies are looking for ways to boost their eco-friendly packaging. Today using recyclable materials is popular, yet not too many people even recycle or take the time to separate their recyclables. Which then brings the invention of cornstarch and mushroom packaging. Cornstarch packaging is similar to the composition of plastic, yet derived from corn and can be molded into containers. Mushroom packaging is similar in the fact that it too

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  7. Going Green – Why Should More Companies Adopt Environmentally Friendly Packaging?

    What is our trajectory in evolving all future packaging to be sustainable? Will it take five years? More? An even twenty years? The nature of our throwaway living has exacted an insurmountable toll from our global nature environments. Consider just the resources utilized to produce current packaging. Various types of energy, water, petroleum, and wood fibers are some examples of what industry uses to produce packaging. At the ground level, these resources are not only being depleted at an alarming rate, but they also generate a large part of the carbon footprint we are so desperately trying to reduce. Now we can view the end product, packaging, as a series of consumables that take up the space on store shelves, in warehouses, and most disparagingly, in our landfills.

    While packaging is necessary to protect the product, I would argue that companies have grossly over wrapped their commodities. In the future, in my imagination, I can see packaging being reduced to a biodegradable

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  8. Green is the New Black

    The human population continues to exponentially grow, which means that our pollution population will do the same. Due to the outstanding efforts from amazing influences there has been a spike in the awareness of the dangers. More companies can, and should, adopt more environmentally friendly packaging because consumers are flocking to new habits, there are more affordable solutions, and the planet along with us are counting on them to do so.

    Everyday we are made aware that our habits are catapulting Earth into a dangerous future for mankind. These flares of necessary news that are being lit along social media platforms, documentaries, books, and in the classroom, have given humanity a fighting chance. Part of the fight against climate change is choosing products and companies that align with the same green values as the consumer families possess. Similar to many other habits, the habit of recycling and choosing environmentally friendly companies to buy products from, is being

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  9. The Harmful Use and Production of Plastics in Packaging

    Almost everything we buy from convenience stores, grocery stores, and even online shopping, is encased in plastic. For companies, it is an inexpensive and durable way to package their products. However, plastics biodegrade to a point (into microplastics) which continue to pollute our environment and us through the sea life we consume. The production of plastics themselves also release carbon emissions into the atmosphere. More companies should consider the use of sustainable and biodegradable packaging rather than its harmful counterpart in order to reduce carbon emissions and microplastics that affect the food chain.

    First, if less plastics were produced, it would mean lessening our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Not only does the production of plastics cause harm to the environment, but so does the extraction of materials in order to make them. Fossil fuels are needed in order to make plastic such as oil, gas, and coal (Bauman, 2019, para. 7) which cause emissions to

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  10. How Do We Reduce Packaging Waste in the World's Oceans?

    I was born and raised in what is thought to be the “greenest” state in the United States, Alaska. I lived on a small island in the Southeast panhandle, it is a fishing village that depends on the ocean for so much of their livelihoods. I have been living in Washington state now, for over 20 years and have not been back to visit in quite some time. Last week, I had the opportunity to revisit my hometown. To say that I was appalled would be an enormous understatement. Spending the past 20 years away, I had quickly grown accustomed to recycling and reducing my carbon footprint. It has become a way of life.

    When I arrived last week, I quickly noticed that the streets and sidewalks were full of litter and debris. It was disheartening. I feel that as we grow up, every one of us has an image of our hometown and its perfect beauty. I also noticed as I walked to my hotel, that there was not a single recycling receptacle in sight. This was unimaginable to me. I had a lunch date with an

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