Sustainable Utilization of Packaging Materials
Sustainable development is a “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. (Brundtland Report “Our Common Future”, United Nations, 1987).
According to the German Federal Environmental Agency, 18.2 million tons of packaging were accumulated throughout Germany in 2016. This amount will further increase within the next years due to our fast-paced society that is characterized by online orders and high consumption. Therefore, it becomes even more important to utilize packaging materials in a conscious and sustainable manner in order to not waste resources and to not burden the environment any further.
There are different disposal possibilities for plastic-based as well as for paper-based packaging. In a broader sense, you can differentiate between recycling, thermal utilization and biodegradation of packaging materials.
Through recycling and thermal utilization, value is drawn from the packaging due to further usage. Within the recycling circle, the material is processed and in the following used as a secondary raw material in a similar or the same way as before. Popular examples are PET bottles (disposable bottles) or waste paper. Recycling is the ideal case of disposal since the material that has already been produced stays in the cycle so resources can be preserved. Thermal utilization means that energy is produced due to the incineration of material. Although the packaging doesn’t stay in its original cycle, the produced energy can be utilized for different purposes so it is still somehow valuable.
On the contrary, the process of biodegradation or rather composting completely removes the valuable substance from the cycle. Especially in the case of packaging this is really distressing since it – in comparison to organic waste – does not consist of any biomass that could give back nutrients to the compost.
Moreover, the term "oxo-biodegradable" plastic has been focused on lately. Through the addition of certain additives, plastic material is disassembled into microparticles within a time period of two to five years. However, this process is not about a complete decomposition, but merely about a fragmentation of the material with the aim of not leaving any visible waste.
Although the waste is not visible, the exposition of plastic microparticles causes extensive negative effects to the environment. For this reason, the European Commission not only recommends to refrain from the use of oxo-biodegradable plastics, furthermore, a legal prohibition is planned.
In order to ensure a sustainable utilization of packaging materials that are made out of valuable resources, BRANOpac clearly imposes against the degradation of packaging produced by us. For the protection of the environment, we completely refrain from the utilization of oxo-biodegradable plastics. Furthermore, our research and development for new packaging focuses on resources that already exist within recycling cycles so that the substantial utilization of our products within these cycles can actively be promoted.
One thing holds true not only for the products that have been packaged with our goods, but also for our own packaging: BRANOpac - maintaining the value of good products.
For further information about the sustainable and environmentally friendly production of our products and packagings, visit our website https://www.branopac.de/en/company/award-winning/.
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