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9 ways sustainable packaging supports a circular economy

Sustainability world recycling with paper

The circular economy is an economic model that aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. Once the maximum value is derived from resources and the life of the products is at an end they’re then recovered and regenerated. Sustainable packaging plays a crucial role when it comes to building a circular economy. It minimises waste, reduces the consumption of resources, and promotes the reuse and recycling of materials.

Why is a circular economy important?

The circular economy is a departure from the traditional “linear” economic model based on a throwaway culture. We need to move to a circular economy in order to protect the environment and help to limit biodiversity loss.

Another big benefit of the circular economy is a reduction in total annual greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations’ Internal Resource Panel almost 50% of greenhouse gas emissions arise as a result of the constant extraction of natural resources. Creating sustainable products from non-virgin sources will help us to reduce overall energy levels and emissions.

The downsides of traditional packaging

Traditional packaging is known to pollute the environment and deplete our natural resources. Sustainable packaging on the other hand works to reduce these impacts and allows companies to play their part in contributing to a greener supply chain.

By avoiding plastic packaging, wooden shipping crates, plastic pallets and polystyrene void fill and making the switch to sustainable paper-based products you can become a key player in the circular economy.

Sustainable packaging contributes to the circular economy in the following ways:

  1. Reduced waste: Sustainable packaging uses materials that generate less waste during production and after use. This helps to minimise the environmental impact and reduces the burden on landfills, promoting a more resource-efficient system.
  2. Recycling and reuse: Sustainable packaging is designed to be recyclable with some sustainable packaging systems designed to be used over and over again, encouraging a shift away from single to multi-use products. PALLITE®’s sustainable packaging products are a prime example of this concept. They’re made from recycled paper and PVA glue,and products can be pulped at paper mills and turned back into recycled paper over and over again. PALLITE® products including sustainable EcoLITE pallets are 100% recyclable after use, at the kerbside. This avoids the problem of plastic packaging which needs to be either down-cycled or sent to landfill.
  3. Longer product lifespans: Packaging that’s durable and resilient will protect products more effectively thereby increasing their lifespans and reducing the need for replacement or additional packaging. PALLITE® packaging is extremely strong and durable. Made from honeycomb cardboard PALLITE® pallets act just like wooden pallets. Stronger than traditional cardboard pallets and boxes they’re able to withstand heavy loads with ease.
  4. Reduced carbon footprint: Sustainable packaging can help companies avoid over packaging and reduce package sizes in transit. PALLITE® packaging can be made to specific sizes to fit your consignments exactly thereby maximising your use of space during transit. With products sitting snugly and securely not only is your carbon footprint reduced (leading to lower carbon emissions) but products are kept safe and free from damage.
  5. Innovation: Sustainable packaging solutions challenge businesses to adopt innovative designs and materials centred around circularity and closed-loop systems.The push towards a circular economy is driving companies to develop ever more innovative products. PALLITE® Group have recently been awarded a King’s Award for Excellence For Innovation 2023 for our sustainable packaging solutions including shipping crates, layer boards, protective packaging and pallets. PALLITE® products are not only environmentally friendly but technically advanced in terms of functionality.
  6. Resource efficiency: Sustainable packaging that involves using renewable or recycled materials reduces the overall demand for virgin resources and boosts sustainable use of natural resources. PALLITE® products including void fill are made from recycled paper rather than virgin paper which requires 65% less energy to manufacture – reducing water pollution by 35% and air pollution by up to 74%.
  7. Reduced energy and emissions: Sustainable packaging materials have a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional packing materials, helping to reduce environmental impacts. PALLITE® packaging is manufactured via clean production technologies using 70% less water and energy compared to using new paper from trees.
  8. Policy and regulation: As sustainable packaging gains momentum governments and regulatory bodies are simultaneously introducing policies to promote the further use of sustainable packaging further supporting the circular economy.
  9. Circular supply chains: Sustainable packaging encourages companies to adopt circular supply chains.

Sustainable honeycomb paper cardboard product variations

Transitioning to more sustainable packaging aligns with the principles of a circular economy and contributes to a more resource-efficient future.  PALLITE® Group is already helping companies become part of the circular economy. For example we helped RDA Environmental Engineering Ltd. switch to sustainable packaging for their products that provide a perfect fit for their items and 360-degree protection for their hydrocarbon refrigerant units in transit.

There’s seemingly no end in sight for the increase in urbanisation and growth in e-commerce which means the global packaging industry will also grow exponentially. To combat this, more and more businesses are moving away from unsustainable packaging. It’s hoped that the push towards using sustainable packaging will help to develop a circular economy.

PALLITE® products can help to support this transition since all our products are made from over 80% recycled resources and are 100% recyclable or compostable. If you are looking for ways to play your part in a circular economy please get in touch with us today. We’d love to discuss how our products could improve not only your green credentials, but improve your business efficiencies too.

Want to know how PALLITE® products could help you cut CO2 emissions? Then why not check out our PALLITE® Sustainability Calculator.

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