Packaging & The Environment

You have taken out the goods from the packet and are proceeding to throw the empty packet into the trash can. Seems quite normal? However, you should not do so as the packaging is not as harmless as it appears. It contains many things that are dangerous for the environment and will have a negative impact for it. Let us understand what harmful things does the typical packaging material contain and how it can affect the ecology of the planet. We shall also touch upon the subject of packaging waste management.

Click here for packaging waste management

How does packaging affect the environment?

The packaging might look simple but its sides are fixed with metallic staples, typically iron. This oxidises when exposed to humidity and turns into iron oxide, which leeches into the soil in which the package has been dumped. In addition, the colours used to print the packaging might contain lead, especially if the printing was done in China. Considering that the majority of products nowadays are manufactured in Chine, the chances of the packaging containing a lethal percentage of lead is possible. This metal too is extremely dangerous for health when it leeches into the soil.

What can businesses do to prevent packaging damaging the environment?

Businesses should ensure that their printer only uses organic paint for printing the images and text on the carton. Instead of stapling the sides of the carton, they should paste it using organic glue. They should also use cardboard, processed so that it does not contain any harmful substances. In addition, they should also print a logo on the container displaying the recyclable sign. No doubt, certain overseas companies take the liberty of printing this logo even though the cartons they manufacture do contain chemicals or metals hazardous for the planet. Getting the carton printed locally in the United Kingdom might cost more, but it ensures that the carton is safe. Manufacturers of products should include a return policy as part of their packaging waste management policy. They should provide an option allowing the customer to contact them and collect the package.

How can consumers reduce packaging effects on the environment?

It is quite simple. Do not dispose the package in a dumping ground. On the contrary, put it in the trash bin meant for dry waste. The personnel of the municipal corporation will pick up the packaging and either recycle it or send it to a firm that specialises in recycling. In most cases, the recycling company recycles the cardboard, manufactures new cardboard sheets from it, and pass it on the printing presses who use them for printing it with the graphics and text of the product of the company that has hired them for printing their packages.

Who controls packaging laws?

The government of the European Union currently handles packaging laws for the United Kingdom. However, this will change in the future if Great Britain separates itself from the European Union in the future. In such a scenario, the government of Great Britain will control packaging laws.