Which is more eco-friendly : Paper or Biodegradable Plastic?

Which is more eco-friendly : Paper or Biodegradable Plastic?

In the ongoing quest for sustainability, individuals and businesses alike are seeking eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials. One common dilemma revolves around packaging choices, with paper and biodegradable plastic emerging as popular contenders. In this blog post, we'll delve into the environmental impact of both options to determine which is more eco-friendly.

Paper Packaging:

1. Renewable Resource:

Paper is produced using wood pulp harvested from trees; sustainable forest management practices such as replanting and responsible harvesting can contribute an ecological-friendly element to paper's creation.

2. Biodegradability:

Paper decomposes naturally over time in landfill sites, reducing its environmental footprint significantly. Under optimal conditions, its biodegradability ensures rapid breakdown into organic material, quickly reducing long-term environmental harm.

3. Energy Consumption:

Although producing paper requires energy consumption, technological innovations and sustainable practices have helped minimize its carbon footprint. Some paper producers utilize recycled content or employ energy efficient processes in their operations in order to minimize environmental impact.

Biodegradable plastic packaging:

1. Origins and Raw Materials:

Biodegradable plastics typically derive their raw materials from renewable plant-based resources like cornstarch or sugarcane compared to their fossil fuel-dependent predecessors, offering more sustainable starting points.

2. Biodegradability:

Plastics that claim to biodegrade via microbe action often do so over time in landfill environments; however, all conditions necessary for optimal decomposition may not always exist, raising doubts as to their eco-friendliness claims.

3. Energy Consumption:

Biodegradable plastic production can still use energy, but their use of renewable raw materials and efficient manufacturing processes helps significantly lessen their ecological impact than traditional plastics.

Comparative Analysis:

Resource Use:

Paper is great because it comes from trees - an invaluable renewable resource - but to maintain sustainability it must be harvested using responsible practices. Biodegradable plastics made of plant stuff also reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources while creating complex supply chains when made.

End-of-Life Impacts:

Paper is great because its natural decay makes it eco-friendly while leaving less waste in landfills, while biodegradable plastics require specific conditions in order to break down effectively; well-managed composting sites might work, while regular landfills might not.

Energy Efficiency:

The paper industry has made great strides toward becoming more energy-efficient by making use of recycled materials and environmentally sustainable methods, helping reduce their impact on the environment and moving toward a greener future. Biodegradable plastic producers too strive for lower energy usage; however, making plant-based material into plastic may still present unique energy consumption challenges.

Recycling Edge

Paper stands out in terms of both eco-friendliness and biodegradability compared with plastic biodegradables; its recycling properties make it more sustainable as an end-of-life choice than biodegradables, which may only biodegrade under specific conditions and don't always recycle well compared with paper's multiple uses. This makes paper the superior and sustainable end-of-life choice.

Overall, Selecting paper as your medium of choice to protect the environment is an intelligent move for multiple reasons. Tree-derived products like paper can easily be recycled while naturally breaking down over time, compared with plastic biodegradable alternatives, which present some obstacles when broken down in regular landfills. So choosing paper over biodegradable alternatives can support a more environmentally sustainable future.

If you are looking to switch from plastic packaging to eco friendly paper packaging, get in touch with us today