Understanding the Carbon Footprint of Packaging
Is ‘sustainable packaging’ a buzzword? We don’t believe so. Why? Because we believe that we all have a duty of care to our planet that should expect us to reduce the carbon footprint of the packaging we use. Traditional packaging has been a significant contributor to excessive CO2e levels in our atmosphere, so a solution for packaging that still looks good but supports sustainability by being less CO2e hungry is essential.
Our focus on secondary packaging has enabled us to develop environmentally friendly packaging solutions that heavily reduce a packaged product’s carbon footprint.
How bad is it?
Sustainable packaging is more than just a plastic v paper debate. That is a debate that isn’t won or lost by changing from plastic to paper. Even using recycled paper to make lightweight recyclable bags still emits higher greenhouse gasses than the typical plastic carrier bag. Use virgin paper and the results are twice as bad. This is without the extensive cardboard packaging currently in use, which has an even higher carbon footprint.
A box of 12 small cartons manufactured from virgin cardboard, such as that typically used for cake slices, has a carbon footprint per 1000packs of 323 KgCO2e. If that box goes to be recycled, that reduces to 219KgCO2e. Change the box to a tray and shrink wrap it drops to 187KgCO2e, all helpful, but still not the best that can be achieved by making small changes to the packaging material.
Packaging that makes a difference
Our TrakRap system removes heat from the packaging process. A cold wrap system using an ultra-thin stretch film now has the power to reduce the hefty 219KgCO2e number to an impressively minuscule 6KgCO2e! You have to ask yourself how this is possible. The product remains protected and in prime condition, fit for transport, sale, and display, so it will make a difference and bring plastic back as a good guy.
The TrakRap packaging system reduces the carbon footprint for the same 1000 packs of cake slices to 128KgCO2e. However, remove the unnecessary cardboard, so just the TrakRap film remains and this number then drops dramatically to just 16KgCO2e. Our GreenRap system leaves the cake packaging with a tiny 6KgCO2e carbon footprint if the film is then returned and recycled.
Manufacturers must lead consumer awareness
It’s essential that business owners understand that plastic is not the enemy. Manufacturers can step up, make changes and convey this message to their consumers. Changing to environmentally smart plastic packaging by switching to good-plastic systems, using minimal cardboard will ultimately reduce carbon footprints that consumers and our environment demand. We can help you do just that. Why not contact us today to learn more about our system and what it can do for your business’ carbon footprint?