Packaging started hundreds of years ago and the evidence does not lie in the pollution but rather relics and in the soil. We see examples of these packaging design types in Clay pots, Gold and silver cutlery, as well as known, weaved baskets and leaves that were used by previous generations. The packaging supplies are used to keep the product together for example when buying liquids such as water, powders & spices, food, etc. This packaging keeps things together. The packaging is also used to keep goods safe ensuring that they do not get damaged. For example, when buying fragile items the packaging ensures that they do not get damaged by the time you get home. Aluminium & glass packaging is recyclable Single use plastic packaging is not sustainable. If it’s not natural it cant be a natural choice.
Packaging types – Packaging of products
Biodegradable packaging has been around longer than plastic packaging and this is beside the bioplastics or leaf wrappings you see today. In Fact, Mother Nature has been packaging food for us and this form of packaging has been organic since the beginning of time. Evidence can be found when you see banana peels, orange peels, pineapples and any other fruit and vegetable you might find in the garden. Above all biodegradable packaging should be the natural choice being the most natural way of packaging. However, biodegradable packaging has been in practice by previous generations for hundreds of years.
Types of biodegradable packaging
- Corrugated Boxes: Commonly used to carry heavier items such as appliances, electronic goods, wine, fruit, and vegetables.
- Boxboard or Paperboard Cartons: Lighter weight carton commonly used to carry a single item such as breakfast cereal, shoes, crackers, a toy.
- Paper Bags and Sacks: Paper bags used to carry groceries and/or retail items, and multi-wall sacks that contain flour and cement and are used
If you are looking for packaging design ideas then look at Banana leaves, Hemp, Bamboo, Weaved baskets and perhaps even some grass for a little cushion. There are awesome ways that we can look at packaging design would be more natural and better for the environment.
- Biodegradable plastics are made from all-natural plant materials. These can include hemp, corn oil, orange peels, starch, and plants.
- Biodegradable plastics are plastics that can be decomposed by the action of living organisms, usually microbes, into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass.
Plastic packaging has been a convenience for many people since it came into our lives and this is because of what plastic can do. It takes Just 1 Kg of plastic to hold and deliver 37 Litres of a beverage, in other words, You would need 1.3 kgs of aluminum, 3.6 kgs of steel, or over 18 kgs of glass to bring home the same amount of a beverage. Unfortunately, our ways of using plastic for single use items have gone too far and packaging companies are slowly changing their product lines. Single use plastics pollute our oceans, streets, landfills and more. Plastics become microplastics that end up causing harm to wildlife, marine life and humans consuming water or food contaminated with microplastics. We now see more stores using bioplastics / biodegradable plastic as people break away from plastic packaging in South Africa.
Types of plastic packaging
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Bottles for milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, dish and laundry detergents, and household cleaners
- Bags for groceries and retail purchases
- Cereal box liners
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- Bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce, and household garbage
- Shrink wrap and stretch film
- Coatings for paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups
- Container lids
- Squeezable bottles (e.g., honey and mustard)
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)
- Plastic bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, sports drinks, beer, mouthwash, catsup, and salad dressing
- Food jars for peanut butter, jelly, jam, and pickles
- Ovenable film and microwavable food trays
- Containers for yogurt, margarine, takeout meals, and deli foods
- Medicine bottles
- Bottle caps and closures
- Bottles for catsup and syrup
- Food service items, such as cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, hinged takeout containers (clamshells), meat and poultry trays, and rigid food containers (e.g., yogurt)
These items may be made with foamed or non-foamed PS.
Rigid packaging applications include: Blister packs and clamshells
Flexible packaging uses include: Bags for bedding and medical, shrink wrap, deli and meet wrap and tamper resistance
Aluminium packaging is used to make cooldrink cans, deodorant cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, and beer kegs. It could take about 2 kgs of bauxite to produce 0.5 kg of aluminium metal and that makes 35 aluminium cans. Bauxite ore is mined to create aluminium, and mining causes deforestation, erosion, polluted water sources and a threat to animal life. Drinking cans made from Aluminium are the most recycled packaging product in the world but Aluminium cans are the largest source of aluminium in the waste stream. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I think if we asked mother earth about mining to produce aluminium packaging what do you think the answer will be?
Glass packaging is nonporous and impermeable, so there are no interactions between glass packaging and products to affect the flavor of food and beverages. That is one of the main reasons people enjoy using glass for food and beverages – No nasty after taste and you can see through the glass in most cases. Common uses for glass packaging & bottles include food condiments, soda, liquor, cosmetics, pickling, and preservatives. Because glass bottles do not degrade for about 2 million years, they can be recycled continuously. Glass can be recycled thousands of times without damaging the quality, purity, and clarity of the glass.
Packaging Supplies for your business?
Packaging companies and suppliers dont always have the answer, in some cases do not even do the packaging design. When you are looking for packaging types for your products, cosmetics, bakery, take away shop or clothing please chose wisely. You see the packaging should not be a quick choice, as the packaging is normally discarded as soon as the package is open. Meaning the packaging shouldn’t last longer than your product. Do research into packaging alternatives and browse a few packaging designs before looking for packaging companies. If you are looking for Take away packaging consider using bagasse packaging, kraft packaging.
Packaging Supplies are being sold throughout South Africa by: Cape Town | Johannesburg | Pretoria | Durban | Port Elizabeth | East London | Nelspruit | Kimberley | Polokwane | Bloemfontein | Sandton | Mpumalanga | Eastern Cape | Limpopo
So please whatever you do, refuse, reuse and recycle. Keep South Africa clean and keep our planet healthy.