Packaging Innovation
recyclable packaging materials
April 18, 2016

4 popular packaging materials: how recyclable are they?

Today’s consumer is a green consumer. In other words, the more sustainable the product, the better it sells. With this in mind, companies all over the world are adding green symbols and hues to their packaging designs in a bid to communicate to their customers just how green their enterprise and their products are. They are also increasingly including stories about their sustainability efforts in the packaging design, but many forget to point out that they use recyclable packaging materials.

The most popular recyclable packaging materials

Many popular packaging materials such as plastic, glass, paper, … are become more recyclable – and are being recycled more and more – each day. Let’s talk numbers!

1.     Glass packaging

Research conducted by the Glass Packaging Institute has shown that about 80 percent of all glass packaging recovered for recycling is used to create new packaging. So far, the average glass container is made of 33 percent recycled material, but this number is expected to increase to 50 percent in the near future.

2.     PET bottles

Although glass is and always will be a popular recyclable packaging material, some experts believe that PET bottles will soon take over from glass bottles (yes, even for wine packaging). This is because PET bottles weigh less and therefore have a considerably smaller carbon footprint. To give you an idea, replacing one billion glass bottles with PET bottles would result in 90,000 tons less carbon monoxide. PET bottles are also more convenient than glass bottles when it comes to palletization.

3.     Cardboard packaging

The amount of cardboard packaging recovered for recycling has doubled since 1990. Of the 27 million tons of packaging material that’s recovered annually in the U.S., cardboard accounts for a whopping 71 percent.

4.     Flexible packaging

Flexible packaging is all the rage. It’s no wonder, really, if you consider how practical it is for the consumer in terms of opening and reclosing, and how economical for business in terms of shipping (because it weighs up to 70 percent less than rigid packaging).

More on sustainable packaging materials

Are you looking for ways to make your packaging designs more sustainable? We’ve got plenty of inspiring articles on eco packaging lined up for you! Inspired by Packaging Digest