The manufacturing industry undergoes change constantly. From adhering to updated safety regulations to implementing the latest technology, countless modifications are being made across the world. However, there’s one concern that cannot seem to change soon enough, and that’s the overreliance on plastic packaging.
Plastic packaging has revolutionized so many aspects of manufacturing. Just in food safety alone, the material’s durability and decay resistance, combined with its cost-effectiveness, has affected human life invariably several times over. That being said, this significant product of human innovation is having an enormously negative impact on the environment. Now, we are all faced with the challenge of solving the problem of plastic packaging.
Often, it’s most constructive to address a problem at its root. For plastic packaging, that would be the manufacturers who utilize it to produce, pack, and sell their wares. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce plastic use in manufacturing. One promising approach is to change the machinery employed within the various production processes.
For instance, when working with packaging that needs to be sealed, companies could consider alternating to an ultrasonic sealing or welding process. Many different industries are able to benefit from this advanced technology since it provides permanent bonding for numerous materials, such as paper, plastic, and nonferrous metals.
Another route is changing the materials themselves. Switching to materials or product pieces that are reusable can go a long way in cutting waste. Thus, reduce the strain on our already overflowing landfills. So too could a change to recyclable or more sustainably sourced materials. This could relate to replacing plastic tertiary packaging with 100% recycled cardboard or substituting a product’s main packaging for glass.
Even opting for less harmful plastics could reduce an organization’s carbon footprint. In turn, this can improve appeal with an environmentally conscious target audience. Many manufacturers are making the switch to hard plastics, such as PET, which can be recycled, rather than using soft plastics, which are practically impossible to dispose of in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment.
Every positive adjustment is vital since the way we currently produce plastic is simply not sustainable for the Earth. After all, microplastics are already present in the air we breathe and the food we eat. If considerable change is not made soon, consumers may turn their backs on the companies that refuse to address the problem with plastic.
For further information on reducing plastic use in manufacturing, please see the accompanying resource from Herrmann Ultrasonics.
Infographic created by Herrmann Ultrasonics, an industrial plastic welding company.