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Five Reasons Why Over Packaging Must Be Stopped Now

Over Packaging is ruining the environment. It must be stopped!

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1.The World’s Oceans

Much of the plastic used today can eventually find its way into the world’s oceans where it slowly deforms and degrades into thousands of smaller plastic pieces. According to National Geographic, there is over 5.35 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans and it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish by 2050 (by weight). Initiatives such as the Big Ocean Cleanup are attempting to collect much of the plastic in the world’s oceans over the next decade and then recycle it into other products.

2. Landfill

48% of the weight of an average dustbin is made up from paper, board and packaging. Much of this ends up in landfill where it slowly degrades or is burnt, releasing harmful emissions to the environment. This problem has become so big that some cities such as Lincoln in the UK have taken the step to ban cardboard from its landfills from 2018 in an effort to encourage recycling.

3. Wildlife

Packaging can have an extremely detrimental effect on wildlife on both land and sea. Although the common image in most people’s minds might be a bird wrapped in a plastic bag, the actual ingestion of plastic is much more serious. According to the Scientific American, more than 180 species of animal are documented to have digested plastic which can then slowly poison the animal and enter the food chain. This can also end up in food for humans. The Guardian reported on the University of Belgium’s claim that sea food lovers were eating 11,000 pieces of plastic on average every year, with one percent staying within the human body. It is not entirely clear what health problems this can cause but there is evidence that believes it can cause long term impacts on health.

4.Money

Not only is over packaging harmful for the environment, it is also a complete waste of money. Companies that over package are wasting time and resources on packaging that is simply not needed. Prices for packaging usually increase exponentially due to the increased costs of raw materials as a much larger surface area is needed. Companies can easily reduce this cost by using smaller, simpler packaging. Not only will it reduce the cost in proportion to size, it will also reduce the waste that eventually ends up in the environment.

5.Protection

Rather than protect the product more, over packaging can even sometimes damage the product further. Using the incorrect sized box and the wrong amount of ‘void’ fill (further increasing the amount of packaging), it can allow the product to move around and damage the contents.

What Can Be Done?

So what can we do to solve this? First and Foremost is to increase pressure on Packaging Companies and businesses. Many companies do not do enough both in terms of the packaging they supply and the packaging they buy. Suppliers of packaging need to take more responsibility both in the education to their customers and the actual packaging they supply. To be fair, some of the largest companies such as Etechdiary and Packaging Chimp have already done this and make it clear on their websites but more need to follow suit and more needs to be done.

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