The Rising Cost of Plastic Packaging: Alternatives You Can Start Using Today

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT). Brought in on the 1st of April 2022, importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne for packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic. Even if you’re not a plastic manufacturer, you will see prices rise from your suppliers as they pass on the costs. 

Plastic can take hundreds of years to break down, and millions of animals are killed by plastic each year due to entanglement or starvation. Aside from the environmental impact of plastic, it can also affect our health. Microplastics have recently been found in human blood for the first time and can cause damage to human cells. 

With the rising cost of plastic packaging and increasing consumer concern about the environment, now is the perfect time to invest in plastic packaging alternatives. Let’s look at some sustainable packaging options that will cut your costs and make you keener on being greener. 

Related:How to Beat the UK Plastic Tax in 2022

Recycled Packaging 

An obvious solution to the rising cost of plastic caused by the PPT is to switch to packaging made from at least 30% recycled material. 

MB9-Brown-Postal-Mailing-Box-1-scaledWhile you’re at it, why not choose the most eco-friendly option available, such as cardboard postal boxes made from 100% recycled paper. Our postal boxes are made from single-wall corrugated cardboard — making them compact and durable with a self-locking design. Because these nifty boxes have a fold-down hinged lid with tuck-in-flaps, you can ditch the extra tape and cut your costs. Plus, they’re recyclable, biodegradable and home compostable. 

 

BW2 251x163x70mm Book Wrap Mailer copyFor the book worms, check out our cardboard book wrap mailers, made from 100% recycled paper. They’re easy to use and effective at protecting your books from damage in transit. The multi-depth feature means each size can pack a range of products with varying measurements. Should your customers want to return their products, these book wrap mailers have been designed with durability in mind. Books or other products can be packed into the original packaging, a tight-fit provided by our multi-depth scores to streamline your packaging operation.

Again, you won’t need tape as it includes an adhesive seal. And, when it has reached the end of its life, it’s also recyclable, biodegradable and home compostable. 

Compostable Packaging 

What’s better than packaging you can recycle? Packaging you can compost! Currently, the PPT doesn’t include biodegradable or compostable packaging in its legislation. All the more reason to make the switch. Avoid the rising costs of plastic by investing in compostable packaging that gives back to the earth.

Compostable Mailing Bag 420x594mm CMB4 copyThis compostable mailing bag won’t last forever, and we’d like to keep it that way. One for the fashion divas, it’s perfect for shipping stunning clothes to happy customers. With a peel-and-seal strip for added convenience and secure closure, this bag can biodegrade within six months into organic fertiliser. In an ideal composting environment, this process just takes three months. Cut your plastic costs and provide soil with nutrients; it’s a no brainer.

Our black mailing bags are made from cornstarch and are 100% compostable and biodegradable. Plastic is so passé.

 

SB8-215x215mm-8-inch-Compostable-Sandwich-Bag-scaledFor the foodies, show off your culinary delights with our Kraft paper sandwich bags. Thanks to a clear PLA window (and no, it’s not plastic — it’s plant-based!), all your customers can peek at those delicious sandwiches or pizza slices. PLA (Polylactic Acid) is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane. Unlike plastic, which is oil-based, PLA is a natural polymer — meaning it can be commercially composted.

PLA plastic packaging produces 65% less energy than plastic, emitting fewer greenhouse gases. We stock a range of sizes which can snuggly fit any variety of snacks. Being greener has never been cleaner. 

Related:What Are the Benefits of Compostable Packaging?

Biodegradable Packaging

You might feel confused about the differences between biodegradable and compostable packaging. Let’s simplify that for you. When we refer to “biodegradable packaging”, we’re talking about packaging made from materials that degrade naturally over time. This usually refers to packaging that takes less than six months to decompose. There isn’t a universally-accepted metric for measuring packaging biodegradability, so commercially-composted products can fall into the same category.

CP3 White 345x280x204mm Carry Pack Gable BoxGable boxes or carry packs are a versatile and popular sustainable packaging option. They’re incredibly easy to assemble and pack due to a crack-lock base that can be erected in seconds. 

This useful feature is space and time-saving, as boxes don’t need to be pre-made before service. We offer our gable boxes in two different handle styles: gable and fold-down.

 

 

Gable handles allow all four parts of the box to be pushed backwards for easy access to the products inside. This is a particular benefit for takeaways because food containers can be removed without the risk of spillage. Carry packs with fold-down handles mean boxes can be stacked on top of one another to save space so they’re quick to grab and fill to send out for delivery. 

TP-4001 20oz Branded Wider Tub copy

 

We’ve got another fabulous food container lined up for you — it’s biodegradable and compostable. For our eco soup cup and bowl kraftware, we use an unbleached Kraft board lined with Ingeo™ PLA. This coating is biodegradable as it is produced from a naturally-occurring substance in plants.  

Suitable for cold and hot foodstuffs, these rustic-looking bowls are loud and proud with our “positive packaging” message. Let all your customers know you’ve ditched plastic and switched to sustainable.

Related:5 Surprising Benefits of Biodegradable Packaging

Beat the Rising Cost of Plastics

As we’ve established, there are plenty of plastic packaging alternatives available that will help you mitigate the rising cost of plastic. The options provided focus on eliminating any plastic packaging that falls under the PPT. But you can also use the Plastic Packaging Tax as an excuse to optimise your packaging processes. 

For instance, plastic void fill, like polystyrene pellets, is often added to oversized boxes to protect items during transit. Reduce the need for void fill by ensuring your boxes are a good fit for your products. Through this, you can cut out the cost of void fill and avoid the PPT. Optimising your packaging can have a number of cost-effective benefits. You’ll use less material, and less storage space will be required — resulting in quicker packaging times. 

If your products are particularly delicate and you still need void fill, packaging supplies have eco-friendly void fill options too. Our Eco-Nutz void fill is made from 100% recycled paper and can be recycled or composted after use. And it’s versatile and reusable. 

With the Plastic Packaging Tax in full swing, it makes sense to begin auditing your packaging inventory. Take the appropriate steps as a supplier or business to limit your exposure to the rising costs of plastic packaging. Save money and time and appeal to an environmentally-conscious market with eco-friendly packaging options that pip plastic at the post. 

Packaging Supplies is the UK’s first plastic-free and carbon neutral packaging supplier. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. If you’re looking to beat the rising cost of plastic, browse our range of eco-friendly packaging today.