Updated: Oct 22, 2019

Zero Waste Packaging Is on the Rise

Given the entire purpose of packaging, the idea of “zero waste” may seem counter-intuitive. How can you package anything without inevitably causing some leftover waste?

Turns out, zero waste packaging is being hotly discussed in the manufacturing space, with many companies committing to reducing or eliminating waste — and many consumers actively seeking these options.

To break it down, zero waste packaging takes things one step further than sustainable packaging.

If this is new to you, read on to learn all about this trend, what it involves, and how it could affect your operations.

What Is Zero Waste Packaging?

Zero waste packaging essentially refers to a system of packaging where all materials are utilized, reused, or recycled, so there’s no waste product.

While any type of packaging is going to involve some kind of leftover component, there are innovative ways to make the process of packaging into a zero waste endeavor.

And it’s not just plastic. Landfills continue to swell in size with all kinds of materials; even items that are biodegradable can take decades or longer to break down.

The bottom line is, the more sustainable and zero waste options, the better for everyone who shares the planet. Utilizing the most of your packaging of any sort without creating waste in the production process is hugely beneficial to the zero-waste cause.

Recycling Isn’t a Catch-All Solution

While it’s great to use recycled products (and recyclable materials) — it isn’t a foolproof solution, and it can’t address all of the waste that’s created.

Research has found that despite widespread adoption by consumers, recycling has not been fully successful. This is mainly due to confusion and as a consequence, contaminated recycling streams that aren’t efficient or effective.

In the U.S., most recycling is “single stream,” meaning there’s one bin for paper, plastic, metal and glass.