Hey Consumer, Should You Be Happy With Plastic Free Packaging?
In the world of sustainability, less waste or zero waste, is the quest to avoid plastics responsible for the fall of more and more trees? As huge marketplaces such as, Amazon or Flipkart pledge to make their packaging more responsible, what is the substitute they are relying upon — cardboard boxes & paper?
Since the day I have started my zero waste journey, I have been trying to switch to sustainable alternatives. Recently, trying to look around for an environment-friendly alternative to toothpaste, I landed upon a popular zero-waste brand’s website. After a few days, the package arrived, a brown cardboard one and to my astonishment, in order to secure the items, in the cardboard box, I found huge quantities of virgin paper inside it, a few scrunched to hold the items in place.
Are We Making “Conscious” Sustainable Choices?
This opens an entire pandora box of questions and analogy of zero-waste and being environment-friendly brands claim for. Yes, my desperate need for sustainable alternatives was catered to, but did I, at the same time, provided stimulus to unsustainability.
Sustainable Brands Should Look For Alternatives
Brands, vouching for sustainability, should consider their packaging seriously. Opting for cardboard and paper puts increased pressure on their production, eventually leading to more pressure on the procurement of their raw materials. Evaluating sources such as sustainable cash cropping, or refilling can help in alleviating this pressure.
Co-working a sustainable solution with recyclers
Using virgin cardboard, or paper, or wood is not the only solution. Recycling industry experts can help in providing an alternative that might help in re-purposing waste materials or promote recycled materials inclusivity for packaging.
As consumers, receiving something in cardboard or paper should not relieve us. Instead, a mindset that looks out for sustainable alternatives is excellent, yet, we should also consider procurement, process and associated use of natural resources and carbon footprint.
For example, if you are looking for no-plastic products, there’s no point creating demand for wood. Instead, wood grown and procured sustainably from a bamboo farm is what should be looked for
Sustainable Brands Should Adopt New Innovations
When environment-friendly or sustainable brands think about packaging, not only their source of materials is important, also, it provides them with an arena to incorporate the evolving innovations in packaging sourced from natural fibres or created from waste materials. For example, starch-based, mushroom derived or recycled cardboard and paper.
There are two parallel worlds that have been created — one which is focused on profits at the expense of the environment, the other which are ready to expend more towards sustainability. Consumers, the choice will always be yours. Make informed, well-articulated decisions and don’t fall for buzz words. Since there is no Planet B.