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Recyclable vs. Biodegradable Packaging

What’s the Difference Between Recyclable and Biodegradable Packaging?

recyclable packaging, biodegradable packaging

Many consumers prefer to purchase from companies that offer sustainable packaging options. Oftentimes, paper and plastic packaging is used once, then discarded to landfills that are harmful to the environment and pollute neighborhoods. Using recyclable packaging or biodegradable packing helps to alleviate this issue because recyclable packaging can be reused or recycled, and biodegradable packaging can be discarded and broken down by living microorganisms without causing any environmental harm.

The Benefits of Sustainable Packaging

Recyclable packaging is any packaging that can be reused or recycled. When we choose to recycle, we are saving energy that is used to make new materials for products or packing, which ultimately helps with environmental issues such as landfill overflow. Meanwhile, biodegradable packaging can be broken down naturally in the environment and comes with benefits such as a reduced carbon footprint, convenient disposal, and it allows for a reduced use of plastics that can harm the environment.

recyclable packaging, biodegradable packaging

A third sustainable packaging option, compostable packaging, is also beneficial to the environment. Compostable packaging is packaging that can be used to release nutrients into soil that can allow plants to grow. The only downside to compostable packaging is that customers are responsible for creating the compost, and the right conditions are necessary for it to work properly. Ultimately, any sustainable packaging can help alleviate guilt from the customer and the seller.

Recyclable and Biodegradable Materials

recyclable packaging, biodegradable packaging

There are many types of packaging materials that can be recycled or bio-degraded. Some of these include paper and cardboard, corn starch, bubble wrap, and biodegradable plastics. Paper and cardboard are reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. It’s also useful to include a label on the packaging to remind customers to reuse or recycle the materials after they’ve received their products. Corn starch can be used to create biodegradable packaging, and it works best for products that have a limited use, such as food packaging. Bubble wrap can be environmentally friendly when recycled, and there are bubble wrap options created from recycled materials that can make it biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics are a positive alternative to traditional plastics that can’t be broken down.

How to Become More Sustainable at Home

recyclable packaging, biodegradable packaging

If you’re sending items from home, there are a few ways you can make your own recyclable and biodegradable packaging. One idea is to reuse magazine or newspaper shreds to protect the items you’re sending. Another great option is to use reusable gift packaging. When gifting, opt for a fabric bag that can be reused for shopping rather than a paper or plastic bag that might only be used once. Keeping packaging to be used again is also a good sustainable option. Cardboard boxes and plastic containers can be used more than once, and you might save some money on packaging the next time you have something to send.


GCB Solutions has the packaging industry experience to help you through shifting trends. We offer custom packaging services, including carton erecting and filling, taping, gluing, coding, and labeling using state-of-the-art equipment. Whether you are beginning the design process or looking to make that final push to launch, we can help.

Call us at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free consultation, today


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