Future of Single Use Packaging In a Post-Pandemic World

The current pandemic has caused dramatic changes in the way we do many things. The same can be said about the way many businesses are dealing with some of the common methods they use each day, including single use packaging. In the past, as recently as 2019, there was a lot of backlash regarding plastic single use packaging. Many companies were looking for alternatives to help save the environment. While this is still an important initiative, the recent pandemic has left all of us thinking about things in a new way. Reusable bags are no longer allowed in stores due to the risk of transmitting the virus and disposable gloves are now a hot commodity, along with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, which are typically housed in plastic containers. Now, it’s more important than ever for companies to look for sustainable options that maintain the need for these types of products to help keep individuals safe and healthy, while still protecting the environment.

Lightweight Containers

In the past, many companies were highly focused on the aesthetics of the packaging they used in an effort to attract consumers to their products over their competitors. However, with the pandemic and the increase in demand for certain products, aesthetics are taking a much lower priority. In fact, it’s best for companies that must use plastic for their containers to choose a more lightweight approach, sacrificing aesthetics for the minimal use of plastics in their packaging. Dispenser designs in particular are changing with a push towards minimal contact and even touchless options for dispensing hand sanitizer and other similar products.

A Longer Shelf Life

Healthy juices are another popular item that is flying off the shelves as individuals seek more ways to stay health and improve their immune system overall. However, with the use of more lightweight containers, these juices may break down more easily, which results in the need to improve their shelf stability and ensure they don’t go bad more quickly. This has led to a push to find ways to create more sustainable bottles that can provide consumers with the products they need without having a negative impact on the environment.

New Recycling Methods

The good news is plastics can typically be recycled, helping reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfills and promoting a healthier environment. However, if single use plastic packaging is changing in its construction, this also means new recycling methods must also be developed. In fact, chemical recycling is growing in popularity as a more effective way to recycle many of the single use plastic packages today. If these methods are successful, it will change the way companies and consumers look at plastics in the future.

Although the pandemic has generated a lot of bad news, it has opened an opportunity for plastic producers and those that use these products for their packaging to change the way they do things. This doesn’t mean the end of plastics, but instead creates the chance to look at things from a new perspective to reduce the negative impact on the environment and continue to provide consumers with the products they need, especially those that have found a higher demand amid the pandemic.