Embracing Eco-friendly Packaging The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that in some countries, nearly a third of nonindustrial solid waste is made of packaging materials. That’s a significant chunk. This means that the plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and plastic labels we use to package our everyday consumables are filling up a noticeable amount of our landfills. According to some reports, Americans throw away about 210 million tons of solid waste every year.
Impact of Packaging on the Environment If the first statistics apply to America, that means we throw away nearly 70 million tons of packaging every year. That’s a lot of extra space that we could use for other items if we switched over to completely ecofriendly packaging. The time may never come that we will be able to go completely green. For now though, we can at least make a significant difference. Even if we only changed one percent of all our packaging, we would affect seven hundred-thousand tons of waste per year. That’s a lot of space to save in our landfills.
Pollution from Non-Sustainable Packaging The process that it takes to create most of our packaging products is not easy. Factories expend enormous amounts of energy processing the materials required to make packaging. The process is so strenuous that the factories are some of the most significant contributors to extra CO2 in the atmosphere. Our environment cannot survive with too little, or too much Carbon Dioxide. Too little makes the earth too cold to sustain life. Too much contributes to global warming—melting the polar ice-caps. Now our environment can handle increases in CO2. It has before. Green vegetation takes our CO2 and converts it into oxygen. It is the earth’s natural defense against excessive production. The only problem is, not only are we creating several thousand tons of waste per year, we’re also cutting down trees like there’s no tomorrow. That is a deadly combination that will destroy the balance that we have
maintained for the lifetime of the earth.
Consequences of Using Non-Sustainable Packaging Is it smart to test the patience and endurance of Mother Nature? If she gives out, then we might as well throw in the white towel as a species because there is no way we can imitate her inhabitability with our modern technology. More and more studies are linking the creation, use, or disposal of normal style packaging to health problems cropping up in the general public. Whether we like it or not, we need to pay attention to how we treat our planet. More and more data is flooding in every day. The more we study it, the more we keep finding ourselves making a significant impact on our environment. The implications of what science is learning are scary. Should a day come that global warming were to reach its climax, there would be nothing we could do to stop the consequences of our negligence. We could only regret and embrace our decision as our coasts came crashing in on us. Some claim that if we push things like global warming too far, we could easily change the physical appearance of the earth. Coasts would be drowned in the extra water escaping the caps. As a nation, if we were to concentrate on switching to something as simple as sustainable packaging materials, we could safeguard our planet from the potential dangers that bring to it.
Photo credits: Alex E. Proimos via photo pin cc United Nations Photo via photo pin cc
Published on Aug 24, 2012
Packaging materials make up over 30 percent of landfill waste today in America, but this number can be greatly reduced through sustainable p...