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A Comparative Analysis of Different Materials to Find Out Which Packaging Material Is Best for the Environment

Author: Elizabeth Max

Everyday use products come with packaging, and a certain amount of product goes for packaging. According to reports, about 10% of the product’s cost is packaging, which means if we purchase goods of $100, about $10 will go for packaging. Packaging has given the ease to the customers, but on the other hand, these packaging materials are causing damage to the environment. Some companies like Amazon and Ali Baba deliver millions of parcels to their clients to their customers. These parcels use packaging materials for different purposes, which helps both the company and the customers. But every packaging material is not suitable for the environment. So, let’s find out which packaging materials are the best for the environment.

Your packaging concept should ensure your product placement in the market. Your packaging communicates with the customers before the actual product. You must have a good understanding of the products to get inspiration for .

Features of the Best Packaging for the Environment:

Different elements contribute to make packaging best for the environment. These elements are:

  • Recyclable material
  • Bio-degradable nature
  • Widely available and cheap

1. Recyclable Material:

Good environment-friendly packaging is made up of recyclable materials that help to reduce waste. 65% of the household waste consists of product’s packaging, which is a considerable number. If this 65% of waste is recyclable, it will help reduce waste and save the environment.

2. Bio-Degradable Nature:

Some packaging materials cannot be recycled, and they do not decompose, which increases the pollution in our surroundings. Plastic shopping bag is the prime example of these materials. Many countries worldwide have abandoned these plastic bags and have adopted alternatives to fulfill their needs.

3. Widely Available:

Availably of the eco-friendly material is very important. Suppose eco-friendly material is not available or less available. In that case, it will not meet the demands, increasing the price of this packaging, according to the simple economic formula of supply and demand. If the prices are high, people will not use these materials, which will cause problems for the environment.

9 Best Packaging Materials for the Environment:

1. Wooden Packaging:

Wooden packaging is also a good alternative. It decomposes in just a few months, while some other materials take hundreds of years to be decomposed. These packaging’s are often made with bamboos, which decays quickly and becomes a part of the soil. Wooden products like bottles and boxes can be easily seen in the markets.

2. Plastic Packaging:

People often misconceive plastic packaging and think that these plastic packagings are only used, which is not right. Plastic packaging comes in different categories of recycling. Quality and grade of plastic are mentioned on the plastic so that customers can make an informed decision.

  • Top-quality plastic is used for food items like milk bottles, crockery, food storage boxes, and many other products.
  • Second quality plastic is used for making chemical bottles, like shampoo bottles and liquid soups bottles.
  • The third quality is used for chemical drums and cans etc.

Then after being recycled, plastic is used for plastic furniture, etc. This cycle keeps going until the last quality.

People should choose wisely while choosing plastic products and check the quality of plastic. And how many times it can be recycled.

3. Bio-Plastic Packaging:

Bio-Plastic may be a new term for someone, but it’s a reality now. A few years before, it was introduced in the market, and it is mostly used for cosmetics products. Cosmetic companies prefer bio-plastic over ordinary plastic, but the problem is that not all recycling plants can recycle it. It requires specialized equipment and many resources, including water, to be recycled, which makes it expensive and less popular among people.

4. Cardboard Packaging:

Cardboard packing is use for different purposes like for transportation and storage of goods. It is practical, light, and handy. It decomposes easily and does not be a burden on the environment.

5. Highlight the Product Story:

Glass packing is used for kitchen products, cosmetics, and luxury products. Most of the cosmetics brands use glass packaging for their products, especially for:

  • Perfumes
  • Deodorants
  • Nail-polishes, and for the
  • Natural oils, etc.

In the medical field, glass packaging is used to store medicines and special medical equipment production.

Commercially, beverages and food companies use glass bottles for their products like:

  • Cold drinks
  • Syrups
  • Food colors and
  • Sauces, etc.

6. Metal Packaging:

Metal packaging is also a suitable option for the environment. It can be recycled and reused, which is beneficial for the environment. It also does not pile up on landfills and does not release toxins that pollute the air.

Deodorants bottles and beverages tins are prime examples of this packaging kind. The thickness and quality of the metal are decided according to the nature of the product.

7. Paper Packaging:

Paper packaging is replacing shopping bags. It decomposes very easily. It does not have any toxins in it which can pollute the environment. Other than this, it is very cheap so that everyone can afford it.

Fast food outlets and restaurants mostly use these packaging for their products, and customers like it very much because it ensures hygiene standards, which ensures the food chains' loyalty and customer’s health at the same time. Because of these features, it is very popular among the audience.

8. Cotton Packaging:

Cotton bags are used instead of plastic shopper bags. These bags can be used many times, while plastic shopping bags can only be used only once. For food items, it is also very useful as it does not use any chemicals which do not affect the customer's health. Moreover, these bags are durable, which increases their life.

9. Organic Fiber Packaging:

Organic fibers are used in kind of packaging. These fibers are eco-friendly as they decompose after some time and do not cause pollution. Banana and palm leave also come under this category. These leaves are used to serve food in different countries. After use, this leave decomposes with hundred days and does not take 500-1000 years to be decomposed.


The world is facing serious environmental issues like climate change, the food and water crisis, etc. To deal with is issue world is moving towards renewable sources to save the future. The packaging industry can be a major contributor in this regard. Millions of packets and wrappers are being produced and used worldwide, producing hundreds and thousands of tons of waste every day, which is dangerous for the environment. If the packaging industry looks forward to shifting towards renewable material, it will significantly reduce pollution.