Sustainable packaging systems have been a topic on everybody’s mind. What is the future of sustainable packaging products? How can we help our environment through sustainable packaging? And what exactly is sustainable packaging? Sustainable packaging is the use of packaging products to reduce our environmental impact and ecological footprint. In this essay, the topic of sustainable packaging’s future will be discussed, as well as pinpointing how it will help our environment maintain stability.

The future of sustainable packaging has been left in our hands. For decades, companies have made the mistake of using materials that kill our environment to package their products. Such unsustainable products include, paper coffee cups, plastic water bottles, plastic bags, disposable single-use razors, toothbrushes, menstrual products, and disposable cutlery. These products contain dangerous chemicals, such as BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These products also have many sustainable alternatives. BPA is often used in food and beverage packaging, phthalates are used to help create flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity, and PVC is an industrial plastic used for the storing of oil and chemicals. These dangerous chemicals are not only toxic to our environment, but to the human body as well. Most of packaging materials are wasted and non-reusable, and in result burned to create space for more product to be made. Burning of these products, such as plastic, causes poisonous chemicals to be released into our environment (environmental pollution). The future of sustainable packaging does not lie in the hands of plastic and styrofoam cups; the future of sustainable packaging is bamboo, wood, hemp, wool, linen, straw, clay, stone, sand, beeswax, and coconut. All of these materials are great examples to use for sustainable packaging, many companies have made it a point to switch over their packaging to these types of materials in search of helping our environment. Sustainable packaging is the future for many companies.

Many ideas have stemmed from the usage of sustainable packaging. From newspaper cartons, to plant-based plastics, companies have come up with creative ideas to package products. Future products that can be categorized as sustainable packaging can be straw bags for groceries and produce, bamboo boxes for moving and storing, and plant-based plastic shampoo/conditioner bottles. The environmental relief that the community could create by simply changing our packaging habits is undeniably worth it; health can be restored and issues such as cancer and respiratory hazards can be prevented. Imagine a world without ocean-pollution; imagine a world without waste; imagine a safe, healthy environment. Sustainable packaging is our future, and it is our time to get on board and start focusing our efforts on it.

Sustainable packaging systems are important to our environments future. Without creative sustainable packaging ideas, our world may have no health left. Natural materials used for packaging products will help reduce our ecological footprint and environmental impact, greatly. Ocean pollution, animal safety, and air pollution can all be topics of our past, but only if we put all our effort into saving the environment through sustainable packaging systems.

Essay by: Haeli Santos
Arizona State University

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