Sustainable Packaging

With global environmental concerns surrounding waste and pollution highlighting the need for more sustainable packaging, The Pouch Shop continues to work on our ability to provide better packaging products to our clients in Australia and New Zealand.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is all about moving away from using material-heavy, complex, non-recyclable, non-reusable, and non-compostable (biodegradable) packaging materials. Instead, the focus is on using more sustainable packaging solutions that use less materials, and recyclable, or renewable and compostable products. This way, we minimize the harm to the environment.

The best solution we have is to work towards a circular economy. This is also applicable even in the packaging industry. It is not enough to just eliminate plastic packaging waste. 

When looking at your packaging, one thing to consider is to ensure you have a holistic view of your product. It starts with the brand packaging, to the supply chain, all the way down to when your end consumer disposes of your pack. This approach ensures that you’re addressing the impact of your packaging at every stage of its life cycle.

Food Waste

Food waste is a huge sustainability concern in the modern world. Do you know that about 1/3 of food products go to waste and contribute largely to carbon emissions? 
What causes this wastage? Part of the problem is unreliable product packaging. Even if you cover your food items with plastics, if the food packaging is not able to provide the right protection, the food inside will quickly lose its integrity. The consumer will have no choice but to throw it away! 
Packaging must protect and save food for as long as possible, to ensure we’re not contributing more to the food waste problem. Imagine all that time, resources, and energy that went into making your product just going to waste.
And it’s not just about saving food. A business like yours does not want to create more packaging waste. We know that not a lot of customers will stop and recycle those boxes, bubble wrap, bags, or kraft paper that are used to contain and ship most food items. 

Refuse- Reduce

Refusing to use excessive packaging materials or unnecessary packaging is the first sustainability consideration a brand should make. Where possible, packaging should be made with the least amount of material that still allows for product protection- which is why flexible packaging like pouches can be a great choice!

Our pouches are made of lightweight yet durable materials. They require fewer resources to produce. They are also easier to transport and store compared to heavier packaging like glass bottles or bulky cardboard boxes. Less weight for transportation means less fuel use and emissions. 

Recyclable Packaging

Keeping materials in circulation is another key sustainability factor for packaging. This means we need to design packaging with end-of-life in mind. Soft plastic packaging, which is what some other businesses choose to use, until now gas posed a significant recycling challenge. It is difficult to recycle because it is often made with multiple material types. 

If you’re looking for recyclable packaging, we recommend speaking to our team to see what custom solutions are available for you. We can help you create the perfect food packaging that not only promotes your brand, has appealing designs, but are also easier to recycle.

Compostable / Biodegradable Packaging

You asked, and we listened. The Pouch Shop can now offer compostable and biodegradable packaging through our custom print capabilities, made right here in Australia.

We are able to produce a range of package options that are designed to break down over time without leaving anything that can harm the environment.

If you’re considering commercially compostable packaging for your brand, we urge you to look at your customers and if they will have access to composting facilities to ensure the packaging is disposed of correctly and will compost (which doesn’t always happen in your local landfill!). This is important as compostable packaging requires certain conditions to compost properly. 

What Are You Packaging?

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WHAT IS DRIVING MORE ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING IN AUSTRALIA?

Australia, like several other nations, recognized the increasing problem with society’s continued and heavy usage of single-use and complex plastic, along with its irreversible environmental impact. Because of this, the Australia Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) unveiled in 2018 the country’s 2025 National Packaging Targets. The Australian government and environmental officials back the sustainability goals. APCO’s targets are as follows:

  • 100% of all Australia’s packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025 or earlier.
  • 70% of Australia’s plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025.
  • 30% average recycled materials will be included across all packaging by 2025.
  • Problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation, or the introduction of alternatives.
 

Sustainable Packaging

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FAQs About Sustainable Packaging in Australia

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging replaces single-use plastic as more businesses shift to a circular economy from linear economy to reduce packaging waste. This circular economy means choosing packaging materials that can be reused and recycled to stay within the system versus ones that go straight to landfills.

What sustainable packaging options are available on the market now?

It’s important to understand the different kinds of eco-packaging in Australia for proper labeling. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission said companies have been using environmental claims to set their products apart and lure in more customers, but inaccurate or misleading product labels is punishable under Australian laws.

TYPES OF MORE ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING:

Biodegradable

Biodegradable is a loose term and is commonly used on several products. By definition, it means a certain material can break down without oxygen and turn into carbon dioxide, water and biomass but without a specific time period.

Be careful with using packaging materials that claim to be biodegradable because certain kinds of biodegradable plastic does not fully decompose in a landfill and cannot be recycled either.

Compostable

Compostable packaging can decompose biologically or disintegrate in commercial composting facilities. Compostable bags are plant-based packaging materials made with natural plant starch and should meet Australian standards for compostability.

Home Compostable

To be considered home compostable packaging means the bags or pouches can be tossed into a green bin or a home compost bit where it will decompose and turn into organic soil within a certain time period. This includes labels, zippers, adhesives, and even the printing ink!

Recyclable

Recycling is possibly one of the earliest concepts of sustainable packaging. Packaging made with recyclable materials means the packaging can be broken down and re-processed for reuse instead of going to waste. Most hard plastic or plastic that can hold its shape, like bottles, takeaway containers, and other food packaging, can be recycled into another reusable packaging or something else.

The Pouch Shop For All Your Packaging Needs

The Pouch Shop is among the top packaging suppliers in Melbourne and Australia for small and medium-sized businesses. We care about product protection and safety, and work with new and existing clients on packaging sustainability and how pouch packaging can assist you to meet better environmental outcomes while competing with big brands in the market.

Still undecided over which packaging alternative to choose in your journey to sustainability? Want to know more and understand the current trends in the packaging industry’s sustainability space? We’re here to help you find an ideal solution to your packaging needs!

Contact us today for any packaging inquiry or more information on sustainable packaging options!