Sustainable packaging materials:  A Comprehensive Guide
As consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases, businesses are under pressure to find more eco-friendly packaging solutions. As a result, in recent years, there has been a growing focus on the importance of packaging materials that have less of a detrimental impact on the environment. In this guide, we will explore a range of sustainable packaging materials, including aluminum, bamboo, and fully-recyclable packaging.

    •    Aluminum: Aluminum is a widely used and highly recyclable material that is often used in packaging. In fact, aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage container in the world. This material is lightweight, strong, and can be easily molded into different shapes and sizes, making it a versatile choice for packaging.

Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum, making it a highly sustainable option. However, note that some aluminum packaging may contain a plastic lining, which can make it more difficult to recycle.

    •    Bamboo: An increasingly popular sustainable packaging material is bamboo, a renewable resource that offers several benefits, including the fact it is both biodegradable and compostable,. It can be used for a variety of packaging options, such as bamboo jars and even lipstick components.

One of the biggest advantages of bamboo is that it is a highly sustainable crop. Bamboo can grow up to 91 cm in a day and does not require fertilizers, pesticides, or irrigation. This means that bamboo has less of an impact on the environment than many other crops used for packaging materials. Moreover, bamboo can be harvested without causing harm to the plant, making it an eco-friendly choice.

    •    Fully-recyclable plastic packaging: Fully-recyclable plastic packaging is a type of packaging that is designed to be recycled easily and efficiently. This means that the packaging can be easily sorted and processed at recycling facilities, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

The key to fully-recyclable packaging is that it is designed with the recycling process in mind. For instance, our Infinity Series is made from a single material to make it easier to recycle. Additionally, some fully-recyclable packaging may even be made from recycled materials, further reducing the environmental impact.

    •    Biodegradable plastics: Often made from plant-based materials like cornstarch or sugarcane, biodegradable plastics can be renewable resources that break down through natural processes like bacteria, fungi, and algae. One of the main advantages of biodegradable plastics is that they can reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or oceans.
That being said, it must be noted that not all biodegradable plastics are the same. Some types may require specific conditions, like high temperatures or certain microbes, to break down, which may not be available in all environments.

    •    Mushroom packaging: Made from agricultural waste and mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, mushroom is another type of sustainable packaging material. The mycelium grows around the waste materials, binding them together to create a strong and lightweight material that can be used for packaging. This innovative material is highly sustainable, as it can be produced without the use of fossil fuels or synthetic chemicals, and it is also biodegradable.

    •    Plant-based Plastics: Plant-based plastics are a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics, made from renewable resources such as corn or potatoes. Unlike their fossil fuel-based counterparts, plant-based plastics are biodegradable and therefore have a significantly lower environmental impact.

One of the main advantages of plant-based plastics is their versatility, as they can be used in a wide range of applications such as household items. It is, however, important to note that the production of plant-based plastics still requires energy, and some plant-based plastics may not be as biodegradable as others. Nonetheless, the benefits of these types of plastics make them a promising and eco-friendly option for many products and industries.

    •    Glass: Glass is a natural and sustainable material that is widely used to store products like moisturizers and serums due to its high recyclability. Made from natural materials like sand and limestone, glass can be recycled infinitely without compromising its quality.

    •    Recycled plastic: Recycled plastic, produced from post-consumer waste like plastic bottles can be used to make packaging and other items, providing a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic. It has a reduced ecological impact compared to virgin plastic, as it necessitates less energy to manufacture and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Despite these benefits, not all plastic can be recycled, and the recycled plastic may not be of the same quality as virgin plastic.

Here at APG, we’re committed to helping companies make the switch to sustainable packaging solutions, by providing them with high-quality and affordable alternatives to their current packaging. If your company is looking into ways to reduce its environmental impact, get in touch to speak to one of our packaging specialists.

Aluminum packagingBamboo packagingFully-recyclable plastic packagingGlass packagingSustainable packaging