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Disclaimer: The postings in this blog section do not necessarily represent Desjardin's positions, strategies or opinions.

Social Responsibility in Packaging

What does it mean to be a socially responsible company? This can take many forms, so I think it is easier to first discuss what makes a company not socially responsible. A company that does not care for its employees, community, and shirks its social responsibilities falls into this category. This is seen in many different ways, like poor working conditions for employees or false advertising to consumers. Many types of companies can have these issues, but it is especially common to see them in companies that manufacture products. In the clothing industry a large portion of clothes are still produced in factories with poor working conditions [6]. The packaging industry falls into the category of manufacturing, which means it is crucial that these companies are aware of what socially responsibility is, its importance, and why it is beneficial. Over the past 20 years many packaging companies have been working hard towards producing their packaging in socially responsible ways.

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Health Implications of Biodegradable Packaging

Over the last decade biodegradable packaging has become a viable alternative to plastics. Biodegradable materials are made out of biopolymers, which are polymers made of naturally occurring molecules. They are often used in conjunction with metal containers to help seal perishables, like food and cosmetics. When used with metal containers they typically are found in the form of films, coatings, and bags.

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What is Biodegradable Packaging

The most commonly used material for packaging is plastic. Plastic is easy to make, but comes with a slew of environmental consequences, like long decomposition rates and damage to natural ecosystems. A great alternative to plastic packaging are metal containers made of tin and aluminum. These containers remove a lot of the issues created by plastic packaging. When metal containers are used for food and other perishables they often still require a plastic film, seal, or coating to completely protect the contents from coming into contact with air. In recent years biodegradable non-plastic packaging and films have begun to immerge as an alternative to standard plastic packaging. Biodegradable packaging is produced using biopolymers, which are molecules often found in living organisms, like cellulose and proteins. This means they can be safely consumed, degrade quickly, and often be created from waste plant products [4].

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Future Trends in Biodegradable Packaging

Aluminum packaging was first introduced in the late 1950’s. Over the last 60 years the metal packaging market has skyrocketed and now encompasses over $100 billion in yearly production with a projection of reaching $136 billion by 2020 [1]. Metal cans and containers are one of most consumed forms of packaging in many industries and are becoming more common in others, like food and cosmetics.

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Consumer Trends Towards Sustainable Packaging

Product packaging plays a role in nearly all purchasing consumers do. In 2016 the packaging market was valued at over USD 221 billion. The majority of this was packaging used for food and beverage, with over 75% of it being made of plastic [5]. Many consumers now know that plastic is generally a very unsustainable material because it has a high energy cost for production, takes a long time to degrade, and can be challenging to recycle. Even though plastic remains the most common material used in packaging, it’s percent of the total packaging market is slowly declining. This slow decline can be attributed to increased public awareness of its issues and increasing popularity of sustainable packaging.

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Ideas for Unique Packaging

At one time not much thought went into packaging food products other than whatever it took to keep food from spoiling and provide the longest possible shelf life. But in recent decades, marketers have been diving deeper into psychological research that helps connect visual stimulation with consumer behaviour. Here are unique ideas for modern food packaging.

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Rise of smart packaging (with wireless heated containers)

Smart packaging includes modern technology such as RFID chips that communicate with manufacturers, warehouses and retailers. The addition of wireless heating in containers has provided new opportunities for food marketers to sell modern conveniences. Smart technology is helping reduce waste, track products more closely and provide longer shelf live.

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How Aluminium and Tinplate are Better Than Plastic Packages

The European Union wants a circular economy that is sustainable and environmentally friendly, and is promoting recycled packaging materials as one of the means to achieve this objective. Aluminium and tinplate are considered ideal due to the various environmental and economic advantages they have over ubiquitous plastic containers.

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Environmental Impacts of Plastics vs. Metals: Which is better?

Waste of all kinds has become a pressing issue in today’s modern world. One of the most prevalent forms of waste we see on a daily basis is packaging waste: often from food, drinks, or other perishables.

The amount of packaging waste created has been steadily increasing and the EU is currently at the staggering yearly per capita rate of 167 kg [6].

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