Recyclable Packaging: The Solution to Our Plastic Waste Crisis
Plastic waste has become a pressing environmental challenge. With millions of tons of plastic ending up in our oceans, landfills, and environment every year, the need for sustainable solutions has never been more urgent.
Enter recyclable packaging, a pivotal solution in addressing the plastic waste crisis.
A World Drowning in Plastic
Every year, almost 400 million tons of plastic is estimated to be produced globally. Shockingly, half of that is designed for single use. This throwaway culture has led to a plastic waste crisis, with only around 5% - 6% of plastic waste recycled in the U.S. (2022). The rest accumulates in landfills, gets incinerated, or litters our environment.
Recyclable packaging offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic packaging. Made with materials that can be processed back into new packaging or products, it dramatically reduces the need for virgin materials. This not only conserves resources but also reduces the energy and emissions associated with raw material extraction and processing.
How Does Recyclable Packaging Work?
- Collection and Sorting: After use, recyclable packaging is collected alongside other recyclables. Modern recycling facilities then sort these materials using advanced technologies.
- Processing: The sorted packaging is cleaned, processed, and transformed into new raw materials.
- Manufacturing: These raw materials can be utilised to produce new packaging or other products, completing the cycle.
The Benefits of Transitioning to Recyclable Packaging
- Conserving Resources: Recycling conserves natural resources like oil, water, and minerals.
- Energy Efficiency: Producing items from recycled materials consumes less energy than virgin resources.
- Economic Growth: The recycling industry can generate jobs, boosting the economy.
- Reduction in Landfill Waste: As recycling rates increase, dependence on landfills decreases, leading to a cleaner environment.
The Challenges Ahead
While responding to New Zealand’s lacking recyclable packaging is a significant step in the right direction, challenges remain. Not all "recyclable" items get recycled due to factors like inadequate facilities, contamination, or consumer behaviour. Proper recycling education, improved infrastructure, and encouraging businesses to adopt recyclable materials are crucial.
Ember Sustainable Packaging: The PREP Standard
At Ember Sustainable Packaging, our commitment to the environment is underpinned by rigorous standards and certifications for recyclable packaging like our custom-printed plastic bags. We're proud to say that our recyclable packaging adheres to recognised standards, such as the PREP (Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal) Standard.
What is the PREP Standard?
The PREP Standard is a well-respected guideline established in Australia that determines the recyclability of packaging materials. It evaluates various factors like material type, size, inks, and adhesives used, ensuring the packaging can be effectively processed in recycling facilities.
This certification is vital, as it provides businesses and consumers with the confidence that the packaging they're using or purchasing is genuinely recyclable.
Being PREP certified means that our packaging meets stringent requirements, ensuring it's designed with recyclability in mind from the outset. This makes the recycling process more efficient and ensures reduced contamination rates, leading to higher-quality recycled materials.
Ember's Commitment to PREP
By achieving and maintaining our PREP certification, we at Ember Sustainable Packaging send a clear message about our commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. It's not just about creating packaging; it's about producing packaging that has a lifecycle in harmony with our environment.
When you choose our recyclable packaging, you're not just making an eco-friendly choice; you're choosing a product backed by the assurance of the PREP standard. This means that our packaging aligns with the best practices in the industry, ready to be a part of the circular economy.
In a world where claims about sustainability can often be confusing or misleading, the PREP certification offers clarity. It's an emblem of our dedication to providing New Zealand with truly recyclable solutions, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to both our clients and our planet. As we continue to innovate and expand our product line, our adherence to standards like PREP remains at the forefront. It's a benchmark that guides our processes and decisions, ensuring that we offer not just any recyclable packaging, but the best in class.
Embracing the Future of Packaging
As awareness grows and technology advances, recyclable packaging is becoming more accessible and efficient. It's up to businesses, consumers, and policymakers to champion this change, pushing for a world where packaging becomes a part of the circular economy, rather than an environmental problem.
The journey towards a sustainable future requires collective effort. By embracing recyclable packaging, we can make significant strides in solving the plastic waste crisis, ensuring a cleaner, greener future for all.