Plastic vs paper: finding the perfect packaging solution

Plastic has featured heavily in the news in recent months, and with consumers calling for change, several UK supermarkets have been forced to take action, with many announcing plans to explore plastic-free packaging alternatives.

However, quality remains a crucial factor if a company is to offer complete packaging protection, and there’s no arguing with plastic’s durability and versatility. 

Below we compare plastic and paper and look at how companies can ‘go green’ with their packaging choices.

The rise of recyclingRecycling Bin

Creating awareness is key and the good news is that plastic recycling rates are rising, with the amount of recycled plastic up by 20 per cent and the amount in landfill down by 9.5 per cent. 

Some councils are also now accepting flexible plastic film as part of household recycling schemes, and many larger supermarkets accept other plastic films via dedicated collection points.

There are environmentally-conscious plastic packaging alternatives available too, such as oxo-degradable plastics that are specially designed to degrade faster than regular polyethylene materials.

Automated Packaging Systems also offers reprocessed void-fill air pillows that are manufactured with up to 95 percent recycled content. The pillows come in easily recognisable green shades for end-user awareness and can be repeatedly recycled. 

AirPouch AirPillows made from GeoTech Reprocessed FilmProtecting performance

Quality will always be a key consideration for companies, as in sectors such as mail order, delivering parcels in perfect, working condition is essential and air pillows can protect goods better than alternative methods.

Reprocessed plastic not only offers an environmentally-friendly alternative to virgin plastic, but it also uses 40 - 70 percent less material than paper, reducing storage, waste and shipping costs.

Plastic or paper?

Despite common misconceptions, the process of making paper is more damaging for the environment and produces significantly more carbon emissions than that of making plastic. 

Plastic production produces 80 percent less greenhouse gases, requires three times less water, uses fewer chemicals and creates substantially less waste than paper in petrochemical production, making it a low-carbon solution.

GeoTech Reprocessed Void-fill air pillows on boxKeep your options open

The answer isn’t definitive, and although environmental awareness is certainly growing, you shouldn’t dismiss plastic straight away.

Companies don’t have to sacrifice on quality or your green credentials when opting for a plastic packaging solution as there are plenty of durable, environmentally-conscious options available. 

However, before making the decision, it’s important that every avenue is explored to prevent less product waste heading to landfill or the ocean. 

To speak to one of our specialists about finding a solution to meet your packaging requirements, please get in touch here



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