What Is Recyclable Packaging?

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Recyclable packaging is one of the efforts to practice sustainability in a business. It’s a product packaging made from materials that can be recycled into something new or have already been recycled.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Packoi Team

This packaging is meant to keep materials from landfills – at least for extended periods. Companies should consider the economic, environmental, and brand marketing benefits of using this as their packaging solution.

In this article, you’ll learn more about recyclable packaging and its role in helping your business profit and grow.

What Is Recycling?

Recycling refers to the process of gathering waste materials so they can be processed into new products. Instead of ending up in landfills, materials like metal, glass, paper, wood, and plastic packaging are recycled to be repurposed for the same or a different function.

the logo of Recycling

This process is part of efforts to implement a circular economy. The focus of this economy is repairing, reusing, and reducing waste and pollution efficiently.

For instance, efforts will be in place to recycle plastic waste. Or there’ll be incentives to encourage using biodegradable materials – like tax breaks.

How Much Is Recycled From Recyclable Materials?

While recycling enormously saves the environment, it’ll never be the complete solution.

Not everything is fully recyclable – even corrugated cardboard and similar paper packaging. Some recyclable packaging materials can only be done a limited number of times.

Even if plastic packaging is recycled, it still ends up as waste that’ll stay on our planet for thousands of years.

To solve our environmental problems, we must combine them with other efforts like reuse and reduction.

Is Recycling Worth It?

The general idea of recycling is worth it. At least educating people about it makes them aware of the problem and gives them ideas on how to help.

But if you look at what happens to recyclable materials, you’ll realize it goes through a costly process. Recycled materials also consume a lot of energy to be processed.

With virgin raw materials being more cost-efficient, some companies make new materials instead of recycling them. In effect, that continues to increase waste and deplete natural resources.

What does this mean?

From a business standpoint, recycling isn’t worth it. But that’s not what you should be worried about. Because customers think so highly of recycling, you should also show your support.

Benefits of Recyclable Packaging

When you realize that using recyclable packaging means going through an expensive process to create an impact, it feels like it’s not worth the effort.

Recyclable Packaging

But don’t make judgments that’ll make you return to using plastic packaging. There are a lot of benefits to using recyclable packaging.

Positive Environmental Impacts

The environmental benefits of using recyclable packaging are too great to ignore. While it doesn’t wholly keep plastic waste from ending in landfills, it can delay it.

But that’s not the real reason this has a positive environmental impact. With experts working hard to pursue better recycling solutions, there’s hope that new technology will give better packaging options. 

Food packaging, for instance, will have better options that keep perishable products safe and secure. Or there’ll be a more cost-efficient way to recycle materials.

There’s a high chance that the positive impacts on the environment will get better from here.

Customer Appreciation

With the heightened awareness about global warming and climate change, it’s unsurprising that many consumers are itching to contribute, even if it’s as simple as showing support for companies that use recycled material for their packaging.

So if you use sustainable packaging materials like corrugated cardboard, customers will warm up to your product.

sustainable packaging

Better Brand Reputation

Given how customers support sustainability, recyclable packaging will improve your brand reputation.

People will appreciate your efforts to help save the environment if you’re using sustainable food packaging—the business benefits because they will choose to support you over your competitors.

Your brand will be known for advocating values that go beyond monetary gain. That’s always an admirable reputation to have as a brand.

Economic Implications

Did you know that some countries impose annual waste taxes? That means if you stick to packaging material that you can recycle and it effectively reduces your waste, this can save you from paying huge taxes.

Some countries provide other incentives to encourage recycling practices.

It’s only one of the financial benefits of using sustainable food packaging or corrugated cardboard boxes that can easily be recycled in recycling facilities.

Of course, if you stick to recyclable packaging, you’ll attract customers, increasing your profit. That’s always a good thing.

Different Types of Recycling

There’s no one recycling system. While plastic pollution is the main problem that recycling is starting to solve, other materials are being recycled to help improve the environment.

Apart from plastic products, you can also recycle paper, wood, metal, etc.

recycling system

Are these materials safe enough to be used for food packaging or other purposes that require them to be 100% free from contamination?

That would depend on the material and the method used to recycle products. Recycled materials have strict standards to follow. You must know these to ensure they’re sanitary enough for food packaging.

Plastic Recycling

Do you know what item has the highest recycling rate? It’s plastic packaging. While different plastics get recycled, bottles have the highest plastic recycling rate.

Because the world produces 381 million tonnes of this material, there’s a long way to go before all the plastic waste is cleaned up.

Most types of plastic can be recycled. You need to check the resin code to see which ones are recyclable. You should also check if they’re safe to be used again. If they can be used as food packaging, you know they can be safely used for just about anything else.

Paper Recycling

12.5 million tonnes of paper products are disposed of annually in the UK alone. Like plastic, most paper packaging can be recycled. 

So if you use tissue paper, corrugated board, or other paper materials, you can be sure that these can be recycled. It’s more expensive than the new article from paper mills, but it can help reduce waste.

But as a recycled material, it’s not always true that it’s safe enough to be used for sensitive products like food packaging. This is why you must be aware of the recycling process before using recycled paper materials.

Paper Recycling

Metal Recycling

Recycling metal or even one aluminum can doesn’t help reduce waste. It also conserves enough energy to give a TV enough power for 3 hours.

What’s also great about this is you can recycle all grades of metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous. And every time it gets recycled, it doesn’t lose its original quality.

That means metal can be recycled as many times as possible.

Using metal packaging is also an excellent solution for various food safety issues. Tinplate or aluminum are among the best materials to use for food packaging.

Wood Recycling

Wood is the most eco-friendly material that you can use as packaging. It’s renewable and very flexible. You can use it for any purpose.

You can also recycle it for a different purpose. It can become mulch for landscaping or used as a building material.

While its versatility can’t be compared, the planet has a lot of wood waste because only half of it is recycled. Maybe people aren’t making much effort to recycle it because it’s renewable.

But that has to change so the waste issues can be solved.

Wood Recycling

Glass Recycling

Glass is an excellent packaging material because it can efficiently prevent leaks and contamination. This is why it’s a great food packaging option.

However, glass can take a very long time to decompose – up to 1 million years. This is why recycling glass is crucial to keep them from littering our landfills.

The excellent news is glass materials are 100% recyclable. No matter how often it’s done, it won’t lose purity. It would be best if you took advantage of that.

Textile Recycling

Fast fashion may seem like a tremendous economic advancement, but its waste is concerning. Each year, 1 million tonnes of textiles get thrown out in the UK. Imagine how much is thrown in other countries. This can become a massive problem in landfills.

Governments always try to boost textile recycling to keep waste low. As a material, you can’t rely on this as food packaging, but there are many uses for textiles.

You can create a bag or use it as inner packaging to cushion delicate products during travel. Make sure you design reusable fabric packaging to keep them from being thrown.

Textile Recycling

Tips When Opting For Recyclable Packaging Materials

Choosing the proper recyclable packaging isn’t as confusing as you might think. You have to be careful with specific categories, like food packaging. But if you do enough research, it’s easier to find the right option that’ll suit your brand and product while allowing you to minimize negative environmental impact.

Here are some tips that you can use when choosing your recyclable packaging materials.

Opt For Sustainable Raw Materials

Your packaging design should meet sustainability standards in your local area. This isn’t just about using biodegradable materials.

You have to, first and foremost, check the raw materials. Sustainability should start from there. If you can make that happen, creating recyclable packaging is easier.

Minimize Mixing Materials

Mixing different materials may seem like a creative way to make a statement for your brand. But mixing plastic, wood, paper, and metal will make it hard to recycle your packaging.

It might just end up being thrown out altogether – which could only have a negative environmental impact.

So think about that as you develop your product or food packaging. Keep the materials simple.

simple materials

Reduce The Use Of Packaging

This is another strategy to keep the negative impact on the environment low.

Don’t focus on recycling too much. If a specific type of packaging isn’t necessary, don’t use it. Reduce your packaging and keep it simple.

Don’t add too many elements to make your packaging look fancy.

Make Your Packaging Reusable

If you have to use packaging, make it reusable. Recyclable packaging is still good. But if the design allows customers to reuse it, it becomes even better.

For instance, you can use recyclable glass for your food packaging. If you can add creative designs on the surface, customers may be encouraged not to throw them away. They can use it to store things.

Packaging Reusable

Talk About Sustainability In Your Packaging

Your packaging materials can carry a message. So if you want consumers to take part in saving the environment, use your packaging to teach them about it.

Talk about recyclability and what’ll happen to your packaging after use. Encourage them to reuse the packaging to reduce waste.

Or you can teach them how to properly dispose of the packaging so it won’t harm the environment.

Information can be robust, so don’t miss the chance to use it on your customers.

Are You Ready to Use Recyclable Packaging? Partner With Packoi Printing To Get More Options.

Recyclable packaging is a great way to help save the environment from further harm. But you have to make sure that you truly understand what it entails.

Sometimes, there are recyclability claims, but they are more harmful than helpful.

Make sure you’re making the right choices regarding your packaging.

If you want to know more about packaging sustainability, contact Packoi Printing. We don’t just offer sustainable packaging. We also use eco-friendly methods to produce them.

Let us know your thoughts so we can assemble your recyclable packaging.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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