Companies should adopt more environmentally friendly packaging practices as it is better for the environment, health, and is ultimately more cost effective.

There are great environmental benefits to using this sort of packaging. The first, being less usage of landfill. According to the Environmental Protection agency, food packaging materials make up almost half of all municipal solid waste. Single-use packaging’s effect on the environment isn’t something that is going to go away; therefore, environmentally friendly packaging is something that companies should definitely adopt in the future. Using eco-friendly products is a simple step to having less waste in landfills and less waste by companies. Furthermore, waste not in landfills directly damages the environment via pollution and other various negative effects. One example of this being plastic in the ocean and its damage to the ecosystems. Packaging and waste that is unsustainable can take up to a million years to degrade, meaning that continued practice of using these materials would lead to extreme amounts of waste on the planet. When using environmentally friendly packaging, it can either be reused or it is purposely made from easily biodegradable materials, leading to less prolonged waste in landfills.

Health benefits to environmentally friendly packaging include being free of allergens and toxins, less use of resources, and overall reducing waste. It is no doubt that these benefits coincide with environmental benefits. One major detriment to human health is the plastic waste currently in the ocean. This waste has negative effects on human health, as much of the plastic waste is toxic and can negatively affect those who ingest it. Something as simple as better packaging can equate to better living in general. By using environmentally-friendly packaging, companies can ensure that they aren’t adding health risks for the customers they serve. Providing safe materials for all customers should be a priority for all companies when deciding on materials to use. Therefore, providing eco-friendly materials would be a perfect solution to concerns over health-risks when it comes to packaging.

Companies who use products that are reusable for example, do not have to invest more money into replacing products. Solutions can be as simple as a dinner using silverware, as opposed to plastic utensils. These solutions are easily applicable and simple starts to cost-effective thinking. For example, most eco-friendly packaging uses lightweight materials, reducing shipping costs. Furthermore, eco-friendly packaging companies are far-more invested in creating packaging materials specifically for the products of the companies they work with. This is so as not to have waste, with the added benefit of making materials custom-fit to what one needs. Marketing as an environmentally friendly company is also a benefit on its own, as it will attract a customer base who is conscientious and wishes to purchase items that they know aren’t permitting more waste. Finally, utilizing sustainable products is effective in the manner that companies will have a consistent, usable source of packaging which can be recycled and used again.

Overall, not only is environmentally friendly packaging a better option for companies, it is quite simply, the better option for the majority or people. Whilst there are still struggles for convenience of these products, companies adopting these practices every day would make eco-friendly shopping easy and accessible to all. Not only is environmentally-friendly packaging better for the environment but from an ethical standpoint, it is simply better in general. Non-sustainable practices are non-sustainable for a reason. Utilizing tools such as recycling will be much more effective in the future, as they are consistent and ongoing.

Carolyn Combs
Arizona State University

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