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Environmentally Friendly Packaging & the Impact on Customer Satisfaction

In recent years, almost every business has aimed to become as environmentally friendly as possible, whether that be by using environmentally friendly products or just simply turning equipment off when not in use. In the packaging industry, the growing trend of becoming more environmentally friendly has been taken off, and it would seem that even consumers are looking to embrace the trend. Businesses are now starting to choose environmentally friendly packaging over that of non eco-friendly packaging, and consumers are becoming more and more influenced by this choice.

There are a number of ways to make your business more environmentally friendly, with the choice in packaging being the common focus for all businesses. Choosing packaging made from recycled, renewable ingredients is a simple way to reduce negative environmental impact. For packaging to be considered eco-friendly, it must have a minimal impact on the environment during its life cycle (from the creation of the packaging to the recycling of the packaging). There are a number of advantages to using eco-friendly packaging:

Decreases your Carbon Footprint: The obvious benefit to eco-friendly packaging is reducing your carbon footprint. Being made from bio-degradable, recycled materials means there is less waste of natural resources.

Disposal: Another benefit of eco-friendly packaging is the ease of disposal, often costing a considerable amount to move and dispose of supplies. Eco-friendly packaging on the other hand is compostable, reusable, and recyclable, meaning that after its original use, the packaging can be buried (compostable), recycled (Broken down and made into more packaging) or re-used (you can either re-use it yourself or recycle it to be used again).

Brand Image: One of the biggest benefits of using eco-friendly packaging is how it reflects on your business. When consumers learn you’re using eco-friendly packaging, it reinforces the idea that your business is a responsible company, willing to look out for the environment. Better brand image leads to better sales and better profits, all because you looked out for the environment.

Cost Benefits: The best news for your business is that eco-friendly packaging is actually cost-effective. With companies reducing the materials used in their packaging, manufacturing the packaging ends up costing less. With fewer materials, packaging weighs less, saving on transportation costs when compared to before.

However, the main question is, do consumers really care about eco-packaging? Well, fortunately, it appears they do. According to an article from sustainablebrands.com, “more than three-quarters of consumers claim that eco-friendly packaging has an influence on the beverage brand they purchase." Consumers are even willing to purchase products that might cost a little more if the packaging is eco-friendly and are sometimes even willing to avoid a specific brand for their lack of eco-friendly packaging. All of this information has lead to a large majority of businesses taking the environment into account as a part of their business strategy, looking to focus on using eco-friendly materials -- with renewable materials becoming a key focus from businesses.

While the stats do look promising, it’s worth noting that “environmental factors were a bigger influence for more developing countries like Brazil, Turkey and India, than in already developed areas like the UK, USA or Japan.” Developing countries saw around 60% of all surveyed saying that they actively look out for environmental information when thinking about purchases, compared to only 25% from the more developed countries. In another article by campaignlive.co.uk, it is said that in an online survey of 1,000 people, conducted by Toluna, “Almost two-fifths of respondents said they would be more likely to buy a product if it had less packaging than a rival’s. More than one-third said they thought some products have too much packaging, and 32% said they like products to have a lot of packaging, only if they are fragile.” It is shown that consumers link the amount of packaging on a product with value, with over-packaged products causing consumers to believe they will have to pay more for it, as well as the obvious impacts on the environment compared to well packaged eco-friendly packaging.

What is PLA packaging?

Firstly, PLA stands for Polylactic Acid. It’s a new type of high molecular polymer material and is commonly known as corn plastic. PLA is made from renewable resources, is biodegradable and has characteristics similar to Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE) and Polystyrene (PS). There are many uses for PLA and the most recognised include the following:

Bottles

Biodegradable medical devices (screws, pins, rods, plates etc.)

3D printing

Packaging

How is PLA packaging made?

PLA is a polyester made with two possible monomers or building blocks: lactic acid, and lactide. Lactic acid is produced by fermentation under controlled conditions of a carbohydrate source, such as corn starch or sugarcane, making the process sustainable and renewable.

PLA can be produced by the direct condensation of lactic acid. However, this process usually results in a low-density form of PLA (not ideal). In order to produce high-density PLA, the lactic acid must be heated in the presence of an acid catalyst to form cyclic lactide. This is known as ring-opening polymerisation.

How can PLA packaging be disposed?

When it comes to renewable and biodegradable packaging, the PLA packaging play a key part in the sustainability of the given product.

For PLA, there are two main methods of disposing:

1. Compost degradation – Within the first 180 days of a PLA product’s life, it’s 100% biodegradable and can be composted to ensure sustainability. PLA will decompose into digestible polymer fragments in about 7 days at 60°C in a moist environment - a typical composting condition for a large composting operation.

2. Renewable energy recovery (incineration) – Because PLA doesn’t contain any chlorine atoms, so can be safely incinerated under controlled conditions without producing any dioxins (highly toxic chemicals). Although, as biodegradability is the primary motive for PLA and other bioplastics, incineration should be considered after compost degradation as the end-of-life option.

What is PCR Packaging?

PCR means Post-Consumer Recycled material or Post Consumer Resin, and generally refers to plastics such as PET, PP and HDPE which are widely recycled and then reprocessed into a resin that is used to make new packaging. In simple terms, it is packaging that is being given a second life.

Why use PCR in your packaging?

Principally, because it helps the environment. Virgin plastics are generally processed from fossil fuels so reprocessing them has massive benefits to the environment. But that’s not the only reason to use them:

The more people that use PCR resin, the greater the demand will be. This in turn drives more recycling of used plastic packaging, helping the commercial case to recycle and means that less plastic ends up in landfill, rivers or then becomes yet more plastic in the ocean. So by using PCR, you help the “snowball effect” of recycling.

Many countries around the world are bringing in legislation to force the use of PCR and being a step ahead will help you to be compliant with regulations.

Using PCR adds a responsible element to your brand and shows your marketplace that you care.

Many consumers will be prepared to pay more for products packaged in PCR packaging, making your product more valuable and potentially more profitable.

Sugarcane Packaging Vs Paper Packaging

If you’d like to learn more about our sugarcane packaging tableware range, or the differences between the two types of materials and how they’re used, please reach out to us today.

In our latest blog we explore the differences between sugarcane packaging and paper packaging products, so you can make an informed decision based on your business needs and values.

While products made from paper and the sugarcane by-product bagasse, look and feel similar, their main differences lie in the way the materials are grown and produced.

Not only is sugarcane food packaging a much better alternative than plastic, there’s also quite a big difference in volume of raw product required between paper vs sugarcane food packaging.

We’ll start our article by delving into sugarcane or bagasse containers, as that’s what our compostable tableware range is made from.

How do spray bottles pump fluid?

Spray bottles are an extremely useful type of machine and an excellent demonstration of basic plumbing principles. A spray-bottle head is made up of only a few parts. It has a trigger lever, which activates a small pump. This pump is attached to a plastic tube that draws cleaning fluid from the bottom of the reservoir. The pump forces this liquid down a narrow barrel and out a small hole at the gun's muzzle. The hole, or nozzle, serves to focus the flowing liquid so that it forms a concentrated stream.

The only complex element in this design is the fluid pump, and it's about as simple as they come. The main moving element is a piston, housed inside a cylinder. Inside the cylinder, there is a small spring. To operate the pump, you pull the trigger back, pushing the piston into the cylinder. The moving piston compresses the spring, so when you release the trigger, the piston is pushed back out of the cylinder. These two strokes of the piston, into the cylinder and out again, constitute the entire pump cycle.

The downstroke, the piston pushing in, shrinks the area of the cylinder, forcing fluid out of the pump. The upstroke, the spring pushing the piston back out, expands the cylinder area, sucking fluid into the pump. In a spray bottle, you need to suck cleaning fluid in from the reservoir below and force it out through the barrel above. In order to get all of the fluid moving through the barrel, the pump must only force the fluid up -- it cannot force the fluid back into the reservoir. In other words, the fluid must move through the pump in only one direction.

The device that makes this possible is called a one-way valve. A spray bottle has two one-way valves in the pumping system: one between the pump and the reservoir and one between the pump and the nozzle. Typically, the valve between the pump and the reservoir consists of a tiny rubber ball that rests neatly inside a small seal. The sides of the seal are angled so that the ball won't fall through. Depending on the design, either gravity or a small spring holds this ball against the seal so that the water passageway is blocked off when you are not pumping. When the piston moves out (when you release the trigger), the expanding area of the cylinder sucks on the fluid below, pulling the ball up out of the seal. Since the ball is lifted up, fluid is free to flow from the reservoir. But when you squeeze the trigger, the outward force of the moving fluid pushes the ball into the seal, blocking off the passageway to the reservoir. Consequently, the pressurized fluid is pushed only into the barrel.

In a spray mechanism, the one-way valve between the pump and the nozzle is a sort of cup, which fits over the end of the barrel. On the upstroke, the inward pressure from the pump pulls the cup against the barrel, so air can't flow in through the nozzle. On the downstroke, the fluid pushing out lifts the cup off the barrel slightly and flows on through the nozzle. Without this second one-way valve, the pump system wouldn't be able to draw fluid up from the reservoir because there would be no suction (no drop in air pressure). The upstroke wouldn't lower the air pressure in the pump; it would only draw in more air to maintain that pressure.

5 Benefits of Using Tubes Packaging for Cosmetic Containers

In the cosmetics industry, we can see a great increase in demand for different types of cosmetic products, such as hair removal, anti-aging, and sunscreen products. The interesting thing is that both men and women are the buyers of these products. These products are sold in attract containers that protect the integrity of the material inside. Let's read about some of the benefits of tubes as cosmetic containers.

For cosmetic containers, plastic tubes are becoming the ideal choice. The reason is that they are attractive and versatile. That's the reason they can satisfy the needs of this fast-growing industry. Given below are some reasons these products are a great choice. Read on.

Affordable

Today, consumers are quite conscious as far as spending money is concerned. They try their level best to save as much money as possible. If you want to reduce your packaging costs, you can try the squeeze tubes.

Fancy cosmetic containers, such as glass are quite expensive. Therefore, they add to the price of the product. On the other hand, plastic tubes use the best technology available. Therefore, they are the most affordable option you can try. The cost is low but the container quality is great.

Versatile

Unlike plastic or glass, plastic tubes offer more versatility. The thing is that they are designed to carry a lot of a substance, such as a sunscreen or shampoo. Apart from this, the openings are adjustable to accommodate the product viscosity. This allows you to store different types of substances, such as cosmetic foundations, astringent toners, and creams, just to name a few. So, versatility is another primary benefit of using these tube containers.

Eco-friendly

Heavy jars of plastic and glass containers are quite eco-friendly. As a matter of fact, small containers don't waste plastic as they are recyclable. Actually, the makers of these products make use of green processes in order to have a minimal effect on the environment. Therefore, if you are looking for an eco-friendly option, we suggest that you try out these containers.

Transportable

Unlike glass containers, plastic tubes are more portable. The reason is that they cover less space, easier to transport and are less fragile. They are much easier to ship as they are more stable. Plus, they can make sure that the quality of the product is always high. You can carry multiple tubes in your own pocket.

Easy to use

Unlike jars that need to be unscrewed before each use, tubes are much easier and convenient. All you need to do is pop the lid, press the tube and the substance will come out. Therefore, they are much easier to handle than glass containers, which makes them an ideal choice for most users.

Long story short, these are the benefits of tubes as cosmetic containers. If you are a manufacturer of a cosmetic product, we suggest that you consider using cosmetic tubes. They can help you bring the costs down and offer your products at a much lower price. Hope this helps.