Criteria for proper packaging
The sustainability of packaging is affected by multiple criteria, such as the quality of the raw materials, the duration of use and recyclability.
Some common problems with many packaging materials are that they are non-degradable, non-recyclable or are disposed of in the wrong way.
Additionally, some products that are getting recycled produce waste that is toxic for humans and nature alike, such as arsenic. Often, they contain problematic ingredients that are undeclared or untested. This shows that different factors have an impact on sustainability and need to be thought of when choosing a packaging material.
One recommendable option is cardboard because it is extensively recyclable and, in many cases, biodegradable. Cardboard is available with an FSC certification and therefore guaranteed to come out of sustainable forestry.
Because cardboard is also easy to handle, hygienic and versatile, it is a good alternative.
Other sustainable alternatives for different kind of packaging are plant starch, grass fibres or hemp. Of course, the use of adhesives is often necessary. Because adhesives include chemical ingredients, it is again very important to choose them wisely. They must be based on water instead of toxic solvents. Furthermore, the adhesives must not include any harmful substances or so-called grey chemicals, which means it is not clear what chemicals are found inside and if they have negative impacts on nature and humans.