Sustainable Packaging - Frequently Asked Questions

March 15, 2023

Sustainable Packaging - F.A.Q

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging is packaging that is designed and produced with conscious effort to improve the environmental, social, and economic impacts. Sustainable packaging aims to minimize negative environmental impact by using materials and production processes that are renewable, recyclable, or biodegradable as well as have a clear end-of- life cycle for consumers to take part in.


How can I make my packaging more sustainable?

Making the switch to flexible packing from traditional rigid packaging is a step in the right direction. Flexible packaging is inherently a more sustainable option due to its light weight, better product to packaging ratio, and use of less water and energy during production. Beyond Print also offers a specific line of sustainable packaging including recyclable, post-consumer recycled, and compostable packaging. These options have a variety of sustainable benefits like being made from renewable resources, already recycled materials, or can be composted in your consumers own back yard. using eco-friendly printing techniques.


What are the benefits of sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging has many benefits that extend past a reduced environmental impact. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. Sustainable packaging can improve brand image and reputation by aligning with sustainable brand/company ethos, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. When sustainable and more efficient production practices are used, energy cost savings can be realized.


What are some examples of sustainable packaging materials?

There are several sustainable packaging materials available depending on the type of sustainable packaging being produced. Our recyclable packaging is made from made from 100% polyethylene (PE), which is a recycle code #2.  Our compostable packaging material are made from renewable resources and certified for industrial and home composting.


Is sustainable packaging durable?

Absolutely! Our recyclable and compostable films undergo rigorous testing, just as our traditional films do. They also come with various high-barrier options. One thing to note however, is that our compostable films are meant to eventually break down and do have a shelf life. Certain storage considerations must be taken for compostable films to reach their full shelf life potential.


How can businesses incorporate sustainable packaging into their operations?

No matter what variation you choose, sustainable packaging needs to fit and meet the sustainable goals of a business to truly be a sustainable option. Setting realistic and achievable sustainable goals are the first step, from there, businesses can do an audit of their inventory and packaging life cycle to see where improvements can be made to align with their goals. Aiming to uphold a circular economy, like designing packaging for reuse or recycling, is another excellent way to support sustainability goals.


What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable packaging?

Biodegradable and compostable packaging are both made to break down into natural components over a period of time. However, biodegradable materials still tend to break down into smaller pieces that can be harmful to the environment. Compostable materials break down into nutrient-rich soil, leaving no harmful materials behind. The composting process requires specific conditions, such as heat, moisture, and microorganisms, and can be done in an industrial composting facility or an at home-compost pile.


Are there any certifications for sustainable packaging?

Yes! There are several certifications for sustainable packaging that ensure the materials used are rigorously tested and any claims made about the materials used are truthful. Beyond Print’s compostable packaging holds certifications from the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and for use of the Seedling Logo, ensuring our compostable packaging breaks down as promised.


How can I dispose of sustainable packaging properly?

Disposing of sustainable packaging properly depends on two things generally, the specific materials used and the recycling infrastructure that is available in your area. Typically, paper-based materials can be recycled in curbside recycling bins, but whether bioplastics are accepted in a curb side bin varies depending on communities. Our 100% recyclable packaging is a recycle code #2 and is typically accepted in most curbside bins but can also be taken to store drop-offs. The How2Recycle program is a great resource to help determine how to dispose of many common recyclable items. Our compostable items marked with the Seedling Logo are suitable for industrial composting, while packaging with the BPI mark are certified home compostable.


What are the environmental impacts of unsustainable packaging?

Unsustainable packaging can have various negative environmental impacts, including depletion of natural resources, pollution of water and air, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and an accumulation of non-biodegradable waste in landfills and oceans that is hard to remove. Flexible packaging in general is a more sustainable option than many traditional packing types as it uses less energy and water to produce, less emissions to transport, has better product to packaging ratios, and more end-of-life cycles or becoming available to avoid waste sitting in landfills.


What are some trends in sustainable packaging design?

It’s an exciting time for sustainable packaging design! Development and innovation are at an all-time high, from experimenting with different plant-based materials to creating reusable packaging for refillable products. The use of compostable materials has greatly increased, and the quality has greatly improved due to new technologies. The sustainability mindset has expanded from materials to production, printing, and design practices as well. We’re seeing an adoption of minimalistic aesthetics that also functionally reduce waste.

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