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Great Packaging Doesn't Grow On Trees...Its Made From Recycled Plastic!

Great Packaging Doesn't Grow On Trees...Its Made From Recycled Plastic!

  • by Gary Briscoe

Sir Richard Attenborough Blames Plastic For Ocean Pollution  

Following the release of the Blue Planet Aquarium episode in 2018 that graphically showed the damage pollution was causing to our oceans and sea life, 
the initial reaction from the plastics industry was one of disappointment that they seemed to being blamed for all the pollution in the oceans.

Quite clearly, pollution and litter is an issue of responsibility with too many people  being too lazy to dispose of their litter responsibly and those with the power to make changes failing to take enforce the necessary actions. 
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Hosts Life in the Open Ocean | Smart News|  Smithsonian Magazine

image: Plastic bottle & other waste on beaches and in oceans 

The knee jerk reaction of some major retailers was to state that they would gradually phase out and ban plastics from their stores, a message that had suppliers scurrying around like headless chickens to try and source alternative solutions that could meet this new greener packaging criteria.
The initial buzz words were biodegradable and compostable and packaging that would 'decompose' if it was left in the countryside, oceans or refuse tips were pushed forward as alternatives to plastic. 

The main beneficiaries of the initial propaganda campaign against plastics were cardboard packaging solutions and certainly for the first 12 months following Sir Davids damning narrative there was a reduction in business as these perceived eco-friendly alternatives were quickly introduced into the packaging chain as retailers clamoured for the opportunity to appease customers with their newly discovered environmental conscience. 

Cardboard Packaging Causes Environmental Concerns 

Some cardboard has taken the place of plastics in the retail sector but the reality is that it has limited packaging credentials and gives less protection from damage to products in transit and on display and has less moisture resistance which can shorted the shelf life of some food products. Additionally, plastic is lighter to transport than cardboard resulting in less emissions & cardboard also requires circa 3 times more energy to produce than plastics (source PAC Worldwide)

Although heralded for its biodegradable qualities, in reality cardboard can take several years to degrade and actually contributes to methane gas emissions as it decomposes.

When you add to this the impact to rainforests of continuing to providing the paper industry with wood pulp to replace paper and cardboard products which are disposed of plus the increase in harmful carbon dioxide levels that pollutes our oxygen and fuels global warming, then it is clear that cardboard is not the credible solution it was purported to be.  

  image: Devastation of rainforests due to cardboard requirements 

The Plastic Industry fights Back 

For the past few years the plastic packaging industry has been fighting back and has campaigned for better education and information about recycling coupled with investment into recycling facilities so that plastic can be reused. A 'traffic light system' to phase out less environmentally friendly plastics such as PVC and single use plastics was agreed with retailers and clearer messages on pack to advise consumers how to recycle their packaging was set in motion. 

rPET Plastic - The Most Sustainable Packaging Solution?

It is generally accepted that rPET Plastic is the material that ticks most boxes when it comes to the environment as it can be washed and recycled many times over. rPET plastic can be recognised by the number 1 in the triangle and is widely recycled by local authorities and manufacturers involved in the production of plastic packaging.

As part of its new green initiatives the Government stipulated that from April 2022 all rPET plastic packaging should have a minimum of 30% recycled content or face high tax levies and this is driving recycling initiatives worldwide. In some poorer countries for instance, people are collecting plastic waste and bringing it to recycling plants in exchange for money or health vouchers. It is clear that recycling plastic is not only helping to clean up the world but is also providing employment and opportunity to many people.       

Instead of being dropped into oceans or littered in our countryside rPET plastic like water bottles and food packaging is now being collected by local councils and agencies to be granulated and hot washed before being turned into plastic sheet used for making products such as the Caterline Sandwich Platters and Lids      


image: rPET material can hot washed and reused many times over 


Caterline is a Manchester based manufacturer of catering platters & lids and they  work hard to ensure that their products meet all the required environmental standards including investment into extrusion and recycling equipment. The Company also sources its raw materials locally to reduce their carbon footprint & supply eco-friendly catering trays & lids to restaurants, sandwich shops, caterers,  party planners as well as directly to end users.

The Caterline sandwich platter range is widely used for all sorts of catering at events such as weddings, birthdays, Christmas functions, office parties and  Diwali as the ideal way to protect and display buffet food such as sandwiches, salads, pork pies and sausage rolls, crisps and of course cakes and sweets. 

All of the platter bases and lids can be washed and reused many times over and once finished with they are 100% recyclable.          


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