For our environment to stay healthy, we need to promote sustainable practices within our industries. Paper-based packages have a far smaller impact on our environment than plastic packaging does, and this is important for keeping our environment in a healthy state.
Sustainable Packaging is an important part of keeping our environment in a good condition. Paper-based packaging has a lot of benefits- it’s completely renewable, since trees can be replanted and replenished on a regular basis. Paper is also completely recyclable, and it is extremely easy to do so. Let’s take a look at these factors in a bit more detail.
Trees take time to grow, and a tree must be big enough in order to make it worthwhile to cut down and convert into paper packaging. However, if carefully planned out, this is a dilemma that is easily avoided. If enough trees are planted on a regular basis, the paper supply can be replenished as quickly as it is depleted if the number of trees cut down doesn’t overcome the number of trees planted. Trees serve other purposes as well- they provide oxygen for us, consume carbon dioxide waste products, and prevent geological erosion.
Trees are often cut down faster than they are replanted, since deforestation happens in large quantities over wide areas, whereas planting efforts don’t match that scale. If this were to happen for a long enough time period, there would be a major sustainability issue here. Luckily, this is offset by the fact that paper is completely reusable and recyclable. Because of this, trees do not really need to be replanted at the exact pace that they are being cut down; but this is only the case if all paper is recycled. This is something that should happen in order to meet the demand for paper products, while cutting down the need to generate more supply of paper.
When paper packaging is used, any discarded paper breaks down into the environment. Rather than becoming a permanent fixture in our environment like the waste from a plastic bag, paper decomposes back into the earth. So even if paper products are not always recycled, they do not create waste in the same fashion that plastic or Styrofoam packaging would create. By reducing the amount of permanent waste created, paper packaging plays a large role in preserving the quality of our environment.
Critics of paper packaging state that the creation of paper products is just as detrimental to the earth as the creation and use of plastic products. Just like manufacturing plastics, there’s an energy cost associated with cutting down trees and converting the wood pulp into a useable product. This is a good argument, but it does not hold as much merit as you might think. The fact is that energy is going to be used regardless of what type of packaging is going to be used, but the long term repercussions of using plastic are far worse. Regardless of what type of product is being used, energy and its byproducts will be expended, so it only makes sense that the product with the least amount of long-term environmental impact will be the most beneficial to us. That product happens to be paper based packaging.