Many customers ask us about what sustainable wrapping materials should they consider.
It is tough to answer but here are some things to think about.
Most of the conversation when it comes to flexible packaging is about using renewable sources.
The reality is use of renewable sources often ignores the alternate uses of the raw material as well as
the ingredients required to make the raw material into a wrapping material. Let me elaborate on unintended consequences.
For instance, corn can be made into ethanol (using more energy than it will generate in the form of petroleum for fertilizer and energy)
and PLA which can be made into film for wrapping.
Using corn this way has demonstrably driven up the price of corn and therefore its by product: meat.
So should we make PLA from something other than corn, such as sugar?
What about the destruction of rain forests to create sugar cane plantations as the alternative?
Now, we learn that paper has all sorts of other ingredients.
One of the key ones is water plus a whole host of unpronounceable ingredients.
Is this sustainable? At lease we should.
I am not trying to suggest that you should choose one wrapping material over another.
What I am saying is that to be truly sustainable requires looking at total cost assessment,
which includes those costs you may not be paying for right now.
Those include deforestation, clean water use, as well as the ones we know well:
air quality, ozone levels, global warming by human action
(as opposed to natural cycles the earth has gone through over millions of years).
The support Package Machinery can offer is that we try all of the materials we can
on our overwrapping machines and stand ready to try new ones as they come out and our customers request it.
As our customer, we will support you and help you make the best choice for your application.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that
you can change wrapping material later and still use the same machine you bought from us.