There are lots of things that can impact the environment, but there are also lots of ways you can help it. Food packaging is one of the top contributors to damage caused to the environment, and it’s only fairly recently that businesses are looking to improve their packaging.
You’ll notice that many businesses have now taken an eco-friendly approach to their hot food takeaway containers and are making use of ones made from cardboard or even bamboo.
This is because neither of these things has that much of a negative impact on the environment and will break down naturally over time. So, if you’re curious about how the food packaging your business may use or the stuff you might be unintentionally damaging the environment with as a consumer.
Checkout Four Simple Ways Food Packaging Has An Impact On The Environment:
Keep reading and find out some ways food packaging has an impact on the environment.
1. Overcrowding Landfills
Landfills are a very big problem for the environment as the rubbish that is piled and piled up will remain there for years, growing bigger every day. Takeaway coffee cups are one of the worst culprits for this as most of the time they aren’t easily recyclable and end up straight in the bin once they’re done.
With the amount of plastic-based coffee cups in landfills, 2.5 billion annually in just the UK, it’s no wonder that landfills are being overrun with rubbish that won’t decompose. Landfills also give off lots of chemicals and toxins from all the different sorts of rubbish that ends up there, and food packaging is one of the biggest contributors.
Not only do the chemicals and gases created to harm the atmosphere, but they also harm the ecosystem of the soil it sits on top of, causing further destruction to the Earth. To combat this overflow of food packaging in landfills, try making a switch to something recyclable or reusable.
As a consumer, you could bring your own reusable food containers with you, eliminating the need for recycling as well. This is crucial, especially for coffee cups. If you know that the coffee shop you’re going to doesn’t have cups that can be easily recycled, make sure to bring your own. Even if they do offer more eco-friendly options, there’s nothing better than using a reusable one instead.
2. CO2 Emissions
The food industry in general produces mass amounts of CO2 emissions every single day, so trying to cut them down when you can is vital. This means as a business you should aim to use food packaging that doesn’t use a lot of CO2 emissions to produce and make sure you go for options that don’t take a lot of effort and energy to dispose of.
Things like cardboard are brilliant as paper can be recycled numerous times and it doesn’t harm the environment during its production. Instead, these are created using natural resources, not the burning of fossil fuels. Food packaging is also burned when it ends up in landfills alongside other trash, which pollutes the air and creates things like acid rain.
These CO2 emissions can be avoided, you just have to be aware of them and the damage that they actually do. If you’re a consumer, then you should look to companies that are taking a stand against damage to the environment and try to only use recyclable or reusable options. This will help to drastically cut down on the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
Littering is something that, unfortunately, a lot of people do, and it doesn’t help matters if as a business, you don’t offer people food packaging that they can dispose of easily. Litter harms the planet by injuring wildlife and damaging the ecosystem. When litter breaks down, some of it will contain harmful chemicals that then seep their way into the soil and even the water, causing detriment to everything around it.
This also means that these nasty toxins become part of the food that we eat as the animals eat the grass that’s grown in the polluted ground and the same goes for the water. Littering also prevents plants from growing and reaching their full potential, decreasing the amount of oxygen created and lowering the amount of carbon dioxide that’s removed from the air.
Make sure that you use food packaging that can be disposed of easily. If it’s recyclable, make sure that it doesn’t need to be taken to a special plant and can go directly with people’s household recycling. This way it’s much less likely to end up being thrown on the floor and become litter. Luckily, many food packaging manufacturers are also moving towards compostable packaging, meaning for the careless people who still selfishly decide to litter, the packaging should decompose within a month or two of being exposed to the elements.
Try to use things that are bio-degradable, so that even if they do end up on the ground, they will naturally decompose and won’t harm the ground around them. This small change can make a massive difference, so be sure to provide packaging that can be disposed of properly.
4. Waste Energy
Most of the world’s energy is created by burning fossil fuels, and the extraction and burning of them is having terrible consequences on the environment. So, when it comes to food packaging, you want to make sure you’re going for options that use as little energy as possible to create and dispose of. Although recycling is better than landfills, it still takes a lot of energy for the process to be completed.
Making a move towards bio-degradable, reusable packaging can be a big help and really make a difference to the state of the current environment. You don’t want to use packaging that can only be used once, as the amount of energy it’s taken to create it has pretty much just been wasted for a five-minute use.
Materials like cardboard don’t damage the environment as their production doesn’t need as much energy to be created or recycled. Whereas, going for single-use plastic cups that can only be recycled at specific treatment centers is burning so much more. Try to save energy and switch up your food packaging, and you’ll be well on your way to helping the planet.
There are so many issues that the Earth is facing when it comes to damage to the environment, and food packaging currently isn’t doing it any good. More businesses need to make a change and offer more sustainable food packaging options, and consumers need to be more conscious of their choices and perhaps bring their own containers when they can.
These small changes would have an amazing impact on the environment, and no food will be worse for either. So, why not see how much of a difference you could make, simply by using eco-friendly food packaging?
Arnab Dey is a passionate blogger who loves to write on different niches like technologies, dating, finance, fashion, travel, and much more.