Reusable plastic packaging is one of the top sustainable packaging options we work with, and which are aimed at tackling the challenges of coming years. Being able to easily identify which packaging can be reused and which can be recycled is key for both the plastics industry and consumers.
Reusable packaging has many advantages,, but most importantly it can help us change our buying habits and how we store products. This means it is essential to know which plastic packaging can safely be reused.
According to the European Plastics Strategy, all single-use plastics must be eliminated by 2030, meaning all plastic will all have to be recyclable. SP Group has been working towards this goal for some time. Through our research and development work we produce flexible plastics for different sectors that have been designed to be widely and easily recycled. We are also committed to developing reusable packaging.
REUSING PACKAGING: A NEW CONSUMER TREND
The growing popularity of reusable packaging can largely be attributed to younger generations entering the market as consumers. Buying second hand goods and reusing items is common practice among young people. Furthermore, these digital natives make well-founded purchasing decisions based on prior research of product features and reviews.
A heightened environmental awareness and other consumer trends are also important factors. These trends include buying loose products, which allows packaging to be reused repeatedly.
FEATURES OF REUSABLE PACKAGING
As a rule, when we talk about packaging for repeated use, we think of materials such as glass, stainless steel and long-lasting plastic.
This means any reusable packaging has to meet the expectations of consumers concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption:
- It should be versatile: providing the option of repurposing the packaging will be a point in its favour. Conscientious consumers will opt for packaging that can be reused.
- It should allow other buying options: buying products loose (from specialist shops and markets) with reusable packaging has to be easy for both buyers and sellers, so the packaging has to be lightweight and easy to clean, and must close tightly.
So, how feasible is it to reuse plastic packaging? While some types of packaging are specifically designed for reuse, there are others that can be repurposed thanks to their shape and size. One example is the stand-up, or Doypack, pouch.
These innovative pouches revolutionised the packaging world some years ago with their high degree of visibility on the shelves. Their scope has gradually broadened to include an increasing variety of products (both food products and others, such as, personal hygiene and cosmetic products). Furthermore, stand-up pouches no longer hold just liquids, they are also used for products served in powder and granulated form, as well as in pieces.
However, it is the wide variety of closure options that makes these pouches truly reusable. From screw caps to Velcro Press-Lok, the closures on these pouches prevent their contents being lost or spilled, while protecting the product and keeping it fresh.
There are endless possibilities for repurposing stand-up pouches:
- A stand-up pouch with a zipper or Velcro Press-Lok closure is great for travelling: it is ideal for carrying toiletries, can protect documents and valuable objects (like electronic devices) from moisture, and makes an ideal sandwich bag. Larger stand-up bags can be used for the dirty clothes in your suitcase.
- In daily life, the stand-up pouch is a lightweight option for taking your lunch to work , protecting the food from moisture, oxygen and light. Popping pouches in a cool box is also the perfect solution for a delicious and healthy picnic outdoors.
- Stand-up pouches with screw cap closures can be used to buy loose detergent and other cleaning or personal hygiene products with the use of a simple funnel. This service is available stores specialising in loose products.
This type of reusable packaging, together with the highly recyclable new materials we are developing, will ensure we achieve our ambitious sustainability goals. Through these changes, we will be able to alter the impact of consumption on the environment, although it will require creating awareness and changing consumer habits. At SP Group we are working hard to create recyclable and reusable materials and packaging, and to divulge our achievements in this field. Follow us for all the latest news on recycling and reusing packaging, and help us all move forward with tips and materials for reducing our environmental impact.