As consumer preferences shift in favor of sustainable practices and materials, business practices are changing in response. The plastics and packaging industries are the focus of efforts to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices through recycling and green technologies. Wholesale packaging is part of the trend towards innovation and new technologies.
In a major shift in both consumer preferences and business practices, recycling has become the norm. More than half, or 52%, of people surveyed around the world say that they would prefer brands whose packaging reflects some concern for the environment. Among industries, packaging takes the lead, with the highest rate of recovery by recycling. Through recycling containers and packaging, 39.9% of the material generated is recovered.
Most consumers are familiar with plastics labeled with the #1 code. This refers to PET plastics, which are collected through curbside and drop off programs. There are about 9,400 curbside collection programs and 10,000 drop-off programs for PET plastics in the U.S. at the present time.
PET bottles and plastics are especially suitable for recycling, since PET packaging can be made from 100% recycled materials. The material can also be recycled again and again. As of 2013, 1.8 billion pounds of PET plastics were recycled in the U.S.
On the road to sustainability
The struggle for sustainability has many fronts, including recycling. New technologies that use renewable energy, optimize energy and raw materials use, and at the same time conform to market needs for cost and quality, all play an important part. Further, sustainability implies that products are healthy and safe for individuals, communities and the environment at every stage of the production cycle.
Recovery and recycling continue the process, which has the potential to become a closed loop, eliminating the need for new raw materials and greater energy expenditure. About 31% of PET plastics are recycled at present, and there is much room for improvement, before plastics can reach the same rates as paper and metal.
Custom packaging manufacturing on the the frontlines
In the turn towards sustainability, custom wholesale packaging is on the frontlines. Many types of materials used for rigid containers, such as HDPE, PP, PET, LDPE are meeting standards for recycling. More than 60% of the population now has access to these recycling facilities, meeting the recommendation of the Federal Trade Commission has set.
Many industries rely on custom product packaging to ensure the security and integrity of their products. For the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household and industrial products and the food and drink industries, secure product packaging is essential. New technologies are helping wholesale packaging manufacturers meet new standards for sustainability and quality.
As recycling and sustainability become the norm across industries, wholesale packaging and indeed all product packaging manufacturers are turning to innovation and clean technologies.