In 2018, the national waste statistics show that the total generation waste from packaging stands at 82.2 million tons. Packaging is responsible for half the global waste annually. The statistics have been disturbingly rising. For instance, in 2017, it was 81.2million tons. These data are from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2015 it was at 77,9 million, and in 2010 it was 75.4 million, and it was 27.4 million in 1960. From these statistics, two things are evident. First, with each climbing year, there will continue to be more packaging waste. Second, sustainable packaging becomes more important now than it has ever been.
Statistics showed that only 51% of this waste gets recycled every year. You might be tempted to say 51% is about half, however, note that it still accounts for about 40 million+ tons of waste ass of 2018. The size grows progressively, and that is a cause of worry. Where are all these wastes going to? Have you ever wondered? About 30.5 tons of packaging waste went into landfills in 2018. Note that this is not accounting for other forms of waste that are non-packaging, which are almost the same size as packaging waste.
It is of essence to put to heart that most of these packaging is being synthesized from naturally-existing substances. That means more substances of nature have to be taken out for us to have new packaging. What then is the fate of the future generation? At this rate, almost nothing is their fate. It is crucial to let these statistics minister to us and propel us to create a pathway for the future.
We have to reduce the felling of trees, especially at the rate we do. Our oxygen depends on them. Thus, options of replanting are alternative materials/optimizing existing solutions are necessary at this point.
It is time to consider bringing in more recyclable packaging options to market. Retailers and manufacturers need to adopt sustainable packaging options. Sustainable packaging options refer to innovations that are friendly to nature; they either self-degrade or can be recycled to make more products that will eliminate redundant waste.
Here are tips on making that happen:
- Establishing environmental protection laws including discouraging deforestation and random littering
- Establishing policies to promote eco-friendly packaging
- Implementing politics and strategies for recyclable waste collection.
- Taxing companies that produce large non-sustainable waste.