plastic bottles with green lid

Why Plastics? Packaging

Plastics are mainly in the news for the wrong reasons, but this article is a first of a series of why we rely on plastics.

Mismanaged plastic waste is a global problem, and packaging is a significant consumable in our lives, so do we really need it?

various plastic containers

Plastic packaging serves several essential functions in our daily lives, which are the primary reasons we rely on it:

Plastic packaging is one of the most critical contributors to protecting food from spoiling. Food waste has a significantly higher environmental impact than packaging waste, particularly in its carbon footprint.

Plastic packaging allows food to travel further distances, stay longer on the shelves, and ensures that large amounts of food do not go to waste. Because it takes considerably more resources to create the food, it often makes environmental sense to protect it for as long as possible. The resources invested in its growth are not supported in vain.

Innovation in plastic container design enables space-saving shelving and makes transporting more efficient.

As well as helping to deliver food around our global economy, liquids, gels, powders, out-of-season fruit, and other specialist items are all safely protected by the material.

plastic and syringe
Benefits of Plastic Packaging

Plastics are very beneficial when designed for the function or purpose and the suitable materials employed. This is key to functionality and performance.

  • Paint containers with lids are designed, manufactured, and tested not to be safe and not leak even with industry-specified vertical drop tests.
  • Plastics are highly utilized for hygienic Medical Packaging. Packaging can be filled and sealed hygienically without any human intervention (e.g. sterile syringes)
  • Plastic packaging is lightweight, which means loads for transportation, meaning lower emissions
  • Secure plastic tamper-free containers for medication can be sealed shut with childproof locks
  • Plastics are versatile and can be transformed through various processes. They can be injected, extruded, blown and thermoformed
  • Plastic Packaging can be recycled many times to create new products, and the rates and the types of different plastics have been increasing
Digital Watermark for Intelligent Sorting

 “Intelligent” sorting of industrial and domestic waste is essential if plastics are to be recycled effectively. An application example featuring an IML container shows how plastics can be separated into homogeneous types with the aid of digitalization. “HolyGrail2.0” creates a “digital password” by writing product information directly to the corresponding IML label as an invisible digital watermark. 

Learn more about Digital watermark for intelligent sorting in Youtube. 

The worldwide plastics industry and federations are committed to playing a key role in helping to leave the environment in a better state for future generations.

As society learns to use the planet’s resources more wisely, the intelligent use of plastic will also be part of the solution.