The ecodesign of plastic packaging is a necessary response to the growing problem of plastic waste. Many companies claim to have recyclable packaging, but in reality, only some of it gets recycled while most end up in landfills.
Traditionally, packaging design has focused on meeting customer needs such as space and weight savings for storage and transport, as well as appealing to end consumers through attractive features. However, the ecodesign of plastic containers goes beyond these considerations and involves integrating sustainability principles into the design process. Let’s explore what ecodesign is and whether it can be implemented in plastic containers..
What is the ecodesign of plastic packaging?
Ecodesign of plastic packaging is a discipline that aims to incorporate sustainability and environmental care principles into the design and development of packaging. It involves applying strategies and criteria that reduce the environmental impact of packaging throughout its life cycle, from production to disposal.
The main objective of ecodesign of plastic packaging is to minimize the negative effects that plastic containers and other packaging materials can have on the environment. This is achieved by considering various aspects, such as the choice of sustainable materials, optimization of design to reduce natural resource consumption, ease of recycling, and waste minimization.
The Three Common Practices in ecodesign of plastic packaging
- Material Reduction: This practice aims to minimize the number of materials used in packaging, avoiding excessive use of plastic or non-recyclable materials. It involves designing lighter containers without compromising their safety and effectiveness in product containment.
- Use of Recyclable or Biodegradable Materials: Priority is given to using materials that are recyclable or biodegradable, facilitating their processing and reducing the accumulation of plastic waste in the environment.
- Design for Recycling: Consideration is given to how easily a container can be separated and recycled. Mixtures of materials that hinder the recycling process are avoided, and labels and inks compatible with recycling processes are used.
Is it Possible to Implement ecodesign of plastic packaging?
Yes, implementing ecodesign of plastic packaging is possible, although it may require planning and foresight, which may entail some initial costs for companies. However, in the long run, this practice benefits both the environment and the packaging industry itself. Rethinking current models and adopting a more sustainable approach is necessary to continue advancing as an industry and protect our planet.