Not every business has a recycling scheme, which can be particularly harmful to the environment in the long run for both business and the environment. Each year, over 33.6 million tonnes of plastic are simply discarded into waste landfill sites across the United States. You can imagine how much more this global total could be with industrialised nations such as China contributing to even more used packaging numbers. What does this mean for the future of packaging?

According to various studies, without businesses and consumers adopting more recycling of packaging – in particular, more harmful non-biodegradable materials such as plastics – there could be no turning back from the edge of environmental chaos. Recycling, therefore, is needed for both our environment and to start seeing savings across manufacturing industries.

Long-term changes

The packaging industry has started to become wiser to the need for a move towards recycling and renewable sources of packaging. In the United Kingdom, there is a national target for 57% of all plastics in circulation being recycled by the end of 2017. Japan is a nation leading in recycling, with a cultural shift towards the recycling of most packaging materials. The nation has recently boasted 77% plastic recycling nationwide. There are, undoubtedly, steps that need to be taken globally to start achieving similar targets and make lasting changes.

One of the problems with recycling packaging for many consumers and businesses is, simply, that many are unsure of the materials that can be recycled. Indeed, it is common knowledge that cardboard boxes, paper, and clear plastic cases can be recycled at the majority of recycling stations, but what of materials that are less commonly known as ‘recyclable’?

More materials available to recycle

In recent years, with the introduction of more ways to package our food and other goods, there has been recognition of a need to create plants and schemes that can recycle both industrial and consumer waste. As an example, few industries knew that recycling stretch and bubble wrap could be as advantageous a possibility as they do now. The composition of the plastics may be what have left them as a material that appears to be un-recyclable. Well, that is a thing of the past!

Before you start considering recycling some materials such as soft plastic films, check with any local centres for recycling if they are accepting the materials. What is great for businesses everywhere is that there are now multiple centres starting to create ways to recycle soft plastics at a manageable cost for their own businesses, meaning that industries across the globe could start to see an expansive roll-out of more specialised recycling for ‘uncommon’ materials. No matter what packaging you use, therefore, you can start saving!

Saving money and the globe

If you want to truly contribute to recycling measures, promote the use of recycled materials in your packaging. Anything from recycled cardboard outer boxes to plastic casings can be made from almost 100% recycled materials. Recycling materials actually helps to stimulate more economic growth in the long run for your business, and for those across the country. Using recycled products costs less in packaging, too, so there is little reason not to start using recycled – and recycle! - your packaging.

If we can collectively promote recycling of packaging materials, the potential for positive change to our industries could skyrocket. Where will we see ourselves in twenty years with much of our focus on global warming and promoting change? We will have to stay tuned.

Megan Thomson is an SEO Analyst for Ferrari Packaging.