Innovative Plastic Packaging

Plastics have become a preferred packaging material for many reasons, including significant environmental benefits. Simply put, plastics help make packaging more efficient, thereby, conserving resources.

Plastics help companies use less packaging material. For example, merely two pounds of plastic can deliver 1,000 ounces roughly eight gallons of a beverage, whereas three pounds of aluminum, eight pounds of steel or 27 pounds of glass would be needed to deliver the same amount.

Plastic packaging is lighter than other types of packaging, which means lighter loads and fewer trucks on our highways, helping to reduce transportation fuel and greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, plastic products have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent and energy use by 26 percent compared to alternatives.

The study, “Impact of Plastics Packaging on Life Cycle Energy Consumption & Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States and Canada,” has determined common plastic packaging1 helps reduce package weight, energy use and GHG emissions in the U.S compared to packaging alternatives made with other materials.

Innovations in packaging continue to reduce the amount of plastic needed for the job. For example, today's plastic bottles and milk jugs are 30 percent lighter than they were in the 1970s. One highly familiar example might be in your hand right now. Recent advances have made many handheld plastic water, soda and juice bottles even lighter, using less plastic than ever before. (And when you're finished, don't forget to recycle.)

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1 The study. “Impact of Plastics Packaging on Life Cycle Energy Consumption & Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States and Canada,” assessed the energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions of six general categories of plastic packaging produced and sold in the United States and Canada. These include caps and closures, beverage containers, other rigid containers, carrier bags, stretch/shrink wrap, and other flexible packaging.