Manufacturers turn to sustainable sourcing to save on raw material costs

As crude oil prices increase, the raw material costs of plastic packaging is also rising. However, some packing producers are turning to sustainable sourcing to reduce costs and increase the recyclability of their bags.

With raw materials expenses making up more of plastic packaging costs, cosmetic companies are changing their packaging structures and design, according to Packaging Digest. Market researcher Organic Monitor found the cosmetic industry's green procurement efforts have stemmed from changing design elements. An example of this is Brazilian company Natura Brasil, which used flexible plastic packaging composed of 70 percent less plastic than stiff plastic containers for its skin care product line.

While brands are researching how to make their packaging more sustainable, plastic remains as the predominant material for packaging despite its rising materials costs and high environmental impact. Some producers are turning to plant-based plastics with some bioplastics even sourced from sugar cane.

Another industry is using bags that are 100 percent recyclable to increase the sustainability of their packaging. After listening to a customer's suggestion for premix packaging that is more recyclable, DSM Animal Nutrition & Health, according to Pork Network decided to source material from LDPE to reduce the amount of materials wasted in landfills. 

"Some alternatives to paper, like woven plastics, raised concerns about contamination and damage to equipment at the feed mills," said Marc de Beer, vice president of DSM Animal Nutrition & Health in the North American area. "The LDPE product is a single flat sheet that cleans out thoroughly when poured."

By using low-density linear polyethylene (LDPE), the bags are designed to be strong to withstand transport to warehouses and feedmills yet easy to handle. The packaging can also protect premix from exposure to air and sunlight to improve product quality while heat sealing helps prevent risk of contamination. 

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