You may not put much thought into the flat pouches of plastic that surround your food and other goods. Beyond being grateful that they can keep things clean and contained for storage and transportation, plastic packaging doesn’t usually garner much more attention than that. However, there’s a lot about flexible packaging that’s worth knowing about, such as how it has helped the environment, the economy and revolutionized food packaging beyond what any other material could. Flexible packaging products are also versatile, allowing for many different uses beyond just food. The following describes more in depth why flexible plastic packaging deserves a second look.
1. Environmentally Friendly
Plastic packaging, like flat pouches, often get a bad rap for supposedly contributing to pollution, but the truth is much the opposite. Beyond the fact that plastic is made from earthly materials, it is also very recyclable. A 2011 found that 94% of Americans have access to recyclable plastic bottles, while 40% can recycle other plastic containers and flat pouch bags, such as those for yogurt and lids. What’s more, it only takes one truck to transport the plastic equivalent of glass jars, which takes 26 trucks in total; this means saving on gas and harmful emissions in the long term.
2. Exceeds Competing Options
There are many materials to choose from when it comes packaging design, but plastic holds many advantages over all of them. Modern packaging, such as flat pouches, do the best job of keeping food fresh and at its ideal temperature, causing packaging experts to estimate that each pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by 1.7 pounds. Plastic packaging can be stretched the farthest as well; only two pounds can deliver roughly 10 gallons of a liquid while three pounds of aluminum are required for the same amount. Plastic is also extremely lightweight and easy to transport, which places it far ahead of the heavier contenders.
3. Booming Industry
Because of the usefulness of plastic, many people have begun to utilize it before anything else. As result, the plastic packaging industry is booming and creating lots of jobs. The U.S. plastics industry employs just around one million workers and contributes as much as $375 billion to the national economy, making it a financial boon to all Americans. Beyond this, the global market for plastic packaging is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.4% going forward into the future.
The next time you?re taking off a flexible plastic pouch, consider all that plastic has done and will continue to do for packaging and the American way of life.