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Plastic-free

Does not contain any fossil fuel plastics.

Definition


Plastic-free options do not contain any fossil fuel plastics. Plastic production takes crude oil and polymerizes it into the different chemical structures we know as plastics #1-7. Today, plastic is the most used material in the world1, and the number one use of plastic is packaging2.

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Materials

Through sustainably managed sources and reuse, some materials have a lower environmental impact.

Why choose it?


Plastics don’t biodegrade, and can remain in the ocean for hundreds of years, and even longer as small particles3. Globally, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling3, and if current trends continue, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight3. Companies may go plastic-free to limit the lasting footprint of their packaging.

Global Production of Virgin Plastic by Decade (Millions of Tons)

Why not choose it?


Companies may opt for plastic packaging because its low weight lends itself to a low carbon footprint in transit. In the context of global warming, flexible plastic packaging is often the a more low impact choice.

Frequently asked questions

As US bans on plastic bags have spread to cities across the country, and the EU prepares to phase out single-use plastics by 20214, the pressures on brands to move away from plastic continue to increase5. It’s worth noting that poly mailers are usually the same type of plastic film as plastic bags (LDPE) and often can only be recycled at designated drop-offs. We’re seeing fewer of these drop-off locations available as more plastic bans take effect.

Plastic’s water barrier properties combined with its low cost make it a highly effective packaging option for ecommerce.

References


  1. Charles Moore, Cassandra Phillips. Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans (Avery Publishing, 2012)

  2. Roland Geyer, Jenna R. Jambeck, Kara Lavender Law. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made (Science Advances, 2017)

  3. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2014)

  4. Ceylan Yeginsu. European Parliament Approves Ban on Single-Use Plastics (The New York Times, 2018)

  5. Bag the Ban (APBA)