The Earth-Friendly Future of Plastics

January 11, 2018


As we move into 2018, we’re excited about all of the packaging possibilities on the horizon! We saw lots of creative applications of materials like moving paper sculptures and masking tape art installations last year, so the applications seem limitless! As we celebrate innovation in the industry, we’re taking a closer look at what the future holds for plastics. Spoiler alert: it’s going to get better and for good reason!

It’s no secret that plastics are a big source of pollution. One study estimates that half of all plastics are intended to be disposed of within a year, and countries across the globe are moving to address the elephant in the room. Kenya recently passed sweeping legislation that punishes anyone who manufactures or sells plastic bags with up to a $40,000 fine.

Yes, you read all those zeros right, but that’s the least of your concern when the alternative is a whopping four years in prison. What’s a packaging company to do when your product can land you in such hot water? The solution is to reinvent not only the way we use plastics but the way we dispose of them as well.

Paper or prison?

One company who is showing how to responsibly use plastics is Timberland, who claims to have used 270 million water bottles worth of plastic inside their footwear. Since their boots are made to last for several years, that’s an impressive amount of plastic that’s getting used every single day rather than discarded. The company begins securing materials for new products more than 18 months in advance, and that means they latch on to emerging advancements in sustainable plastics quicker than most.

One of those advancements is bioplastics, which Timberland is heavily investigating this year. Bioplastics are different than most recyclable plastics, in that they completely disintegrate or disappear altogether. That means when you finally wear a hole into the sole of your favorite boots, you can toss the bioplastic parts into your compost pile and watch them return to nature!

It’s more important now than ever for the industry to invest in a brighter future for plastics, and we’re eager to see what advances are made in 2018. At Ernest Packaging Solutions we have a rich history, but we’re always looking forward. It’s time to think about the future of your packaging now before it’s too late. Give us a call to get a head start toward a new eco-friendly you.