How to Reduce Plastic Waste in the Packaging Industry

All open top blue plastic drum

The packaging industry is well known for using large quantities of plastic in order to safely store and transport goods across the world. The plastic waste produced by the packaging industry can unfortunately contribute to increased energy usage, pollution and many more environmental issues.

But that’s only part of the story. In this article, we explore how the packaging industry is actively working to reduce plastic waste, be it through recycled plastic drums or removing single-use plastics from the supply chain.

Read on, as the experts at ITP Packaging explain how plastic waste is being reduced in the packaging industry.

Why Is Plastic Waste a Problem for the Environment?

Plastic packaging is one of the most common forms of protective packaging used within the packaging industry. Unfortunately, the very properties that make plastic so useful also result in plastic waste becoming a problem for the environment.

Plastic is incredibly long lasting and difficult to break down. While that makes plastic an excellent choice for protecting products, it also means that plastic waste is incredibly difficult to dispose of.

Plastic waste that goes into landfill sites can take hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years to degrade. The more plastic waste that’s produced, the less space there is to dispose of it in the future.

Plastic waste is toxic to the environment if improperly disposed of. Burning plastic waste produces toxic gases, while plastic waste that enters rivers, streams or oceans can pollute water sources and kill marine life.

Producing new plastic requires large amounts of energy, placing further strain on scarce resources.

How Much Plastic Waste Is There in the Packaging Industry?

The UK Government estimates that, on average, the country uses at least five million tonnes of plastic packaging every year. Across the world, billions of tonnes of plastic packaging are produced annually.

Not all of this waste is from industrial packaging of course, but a proportion inevitably is. The packaging industry produces a wide range of plastic goods, with the most common items including storage containers such as blue plastic drums and intermediate bulk containers.

Plastic is also the material of choice for many industrial drum liners, for the plastic wrap that protects our food and drink, and for much more, too.

As plastic packaging is needed on such a vast scale, it’s no surprise that millions of tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year.

What Steps Can Be Taken to Reduce Plastic Waste?

But while plastic pollution is a serious environmental issue, it’s important to remember that plastic itself only becomes a problem when not disposed of correctly.

In fact, the packaging industry contributes very little plastic waste towards those annual figures, because the industry as a whole takes effective steps that reduce the plastic waste it produces.

Some of the most important steps taken to reduce plastic waste include:

  • Avoiding or actively banning single use plastics
  • Reusing plastic packaging rather than immediately disposing of it
  • Repurposing plastic packaging such as plastic drums
  • Producing recycled plastic drums or other forms of plastic packaging rather than creating new drums from scratch
  • Choosing to sell or purchase recycled plastic drums or other forms of plastic packaging over new items of plastic packaging 

Recycling is the most important step towards reducing industrial plastic waste. Common packaging items, such as the classic blue plastic drum, can be recycled for decades.

Purchasing a recycled plastic drum removes the need for a brand new drum to be manufactured, thereby saving large quantities of energy while avoiding contributing to landfill sites or causing pollution.

How Does ITP Packaging Reduce Its Environmental Impact?

Here at ITP Packaging, our team prides itself on the steps we take to reduce our environmental impact.

Packaging is at the heart of our business, and we aim to encourage all of our current and future customers to purchase recycled plastic products, and to reuse and repurpose those products.

The industrial packaging materials we stock and sell are, where possible, always produced from recyclable materials, while our team is always on the lookout for new, greener products that can help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Contact ITP Packaging to Learn More About Environmentally Friendly Industrial Packaging

The environmental impact of industrial packaging has never been a more important consideration. Taking steps to reduce your plastic waste now will help to create a more sustainable world for future generations.

If you’re looking to source high quality recycled plastic drums, or other eco-friendly industrial packaging for your business, don’t hesitate to contact ITP Packaging for more information.

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