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Why Paper & Glass Are Not a Sustainable Alternatives to Plastic Packaging

Why Paper & Glass Are Not a Sustainable Alternatives to Plastic Packaging

Paper has been suggested frequently as an ideal replacement for plastic packaging, more so than bioplastics. Many organizations are considering moving to paper-based packaging.

However, there is enough data to suggest that paper packaging needs several times more mass to perform the same function as that of plastic packaging. Due to this, the environmental impact tends to be much higher for paper.

What’s more, replacing plastic with glass or paper could lead to serious problems in supply in the long run. Even though they might seem like a short-term solution, it will simply weigh the packaging industry down

Let us look at how plastic easily outperforms both paper and glass.

Plastics Out-Perform Paper & Glass

  • The whole idea of using packaging is to mitigate the environmental impact by ensuring it can be reused several times. When it comes to paper packaging, they fail big time. The reason being, they can easily tear since they are not waterproof, unlike plastic packaging.
  • The use of paper bags has increased global warming potential tremendously. In fact, they contribute three times to global warming, compared to plastic packaging.
  • Plastic bags are highly reusable, and durable, with a reuse rate of 40.3%.
  • Speaking of glass packaging, it continues to be used for various types of bottles. However, compared to plastic bottles, glass is heavy to transport, energy-intensive to produce, and requires a lot of packaging to prevent breaking.
  • Also, silica sand that is used to manufacture glass is in low supply, making recycled glass vital despite the large amounts of energy that goes into melting the glass.
  • PET bottles are considered the greenest and cleanest types of plastic.

What are the Challenges to Paper & Glass Packaging?

Paper packaging weighs heavier than plastic packaging. For insurance, a single grocery paper bag can weigh around 55 gms, whereas a plastic bag usually weighs around 6gms.

This extra weight has a direct correlation to an increase in greenhouse emissions that are produced due to the transportation of paper bags.

Now moving to, glass packaging. They are not durable, and can easily shatter, making them difficult to recycle. This can cause a dangerous environment since the glass shards can create a safety hazard. Plastic packaging such as PET bottles is recyclable, extremely durable, and shatter-proof.

We hope you have gained some valuable insights from this article. Plastic packaging has always known to be more economical, versatile, and flexible than glass and paper. Therefore, they offer much better alternative over other materials of packaging in many applications

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