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Going Green is Not Easy:Top Green Packaging Challenges

Today’s consumers are more aware of environmental issues, thereby focusing on the eco-friendly products like green packaging. Industries embrace green packaging as it lowers the carbon footprint and gives them an opportunity to be termed as “eco-friendly business.

Besides, it helps them boost the sale due to customer’s preference to ecofriendly products.

This way, green packaging is meaningful for both consumer and a business.

However, the issues and challenges associated with green packaging can’t be sidelined. Here’s why…

Being Mixed with Non-Recyclable Materials:

Green packaging is not completely green. Its ingredient list also includes packaging materials like plastics, paper, metals and glass. Most of them like plastic are not biodegradable. Their benefits and pitfalls are determined by the application and the storage of the products.

Being Expensive:

Cost factor is another challenge associated with green packaging. From segregation of “ideal” materials from the waste, complicated manufacturing to keeping up with the packaging laws, the process requires times, energy and investment. However, there are certain ways to lower the cost of the manufacturing of green packaging. Manufacturers should look for the contents in the packaging that can be easily recycled or can be generated from post-consumer waste.

Varying Laws:

U.S. packaging laws regulate the production, use and disposal of packaging. However, the packaging laws vary from state to state based on the standards like environmentally acceptable packaging, basic requirement for recycling and limit of using certain materials. Therefore, one state’s packaging law may not be valid in another. On the top of that, there is no comprehensive federal legislation or uniform packaging laws for all the states. So it does make sense to abide by the rules of the state where packaging is being manufactured and distributed.

Misleading:

The term “green packaging” or “green recycling” logo can be misleading in some cases. In fact, many customers are not aware if the packaging of their product is entirely green. Sadly, some manufacturers try to capitalize on consumer ignorance by compromising with the “green level” of their packaging. For example, they don’tprovide information on the label regarding the time and conditions associated withdegradability.

Limitations:

Hot stamps and laminations reduce the recyclable ability of the packaging. For example, metallic hot stamps contain metal content, thereby they can’t be recyclable. Similarly, lamination coatings are not dissolvable. Many recycling centers are not able to perform proper material testing due to limited time and resources.

So these are the key challenges associated with the green packaging. These concerns should be addressed so that more and more industries can be able to use green packaging. Though these challenges are bigger, they can be eliminated with the visionary approach; exploring new recyclable materials; making regulations packaging friendly; and raising consumer awareness for an informed purchase.