Plastic pollution has become one of the most important topics today in terms of both plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions. This has many consumers turning to eco-friendly packaging options, and cosmetics are no exception. Options such as biodegradable cosmetic tubes and other bioplastics are quickly becoming more popular, and your brand can be a part of this environmental movement.
Where Plastic Packaging Comes From
Today, over 99% of plastic produced is made with chemicals derived from fossil fuels. Plastics are made up of large molecules called polymers. The polymers themselves are made up of smaller repeating units that are primarily carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur. Petroleum and other fossil fuels are also made up of these elements, often in forms that are very easy to transform into plastics.
However, plastics made from fossil fuels are typically non-biodegradable, require lots of energy to produce, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions caused by fossil fuels. Today, bioplastics are emerging as a sustainable alternative to plastics created from fossil fuels.
Bioplastics are made from plants and other biomass sources. The sugars, starch, and proteins that make up these plants also contain the necessary elements to create many types of plastics. However, these biodegradable cosmetic tubes and other types of packaging don’t have the same negative environmental impact that fossil fuel-based plastics create.
Properties of Bioplastic Packaging
When it comes to any packaging material, the specific properties that the material can provide are essential to the strength and integrity of the packaging. Conventional plastics are widely chosen for their versatility, durability, and ease of use. Bioplastic packaging can provide all of those properties while also being more sustainable.
Many types of bioplastics are indistinguishable from those created with fossil fuels. They are chemically and physically identical, being made up of the same type of molecules. The only difference is the process used to produce them and the source of the building blocks used to create the polymers.
This means that bioplastics can deliver the same strength, durability, and design features as conventional plastic packaging. Not only that, but they can be recycled in the same way as conventional plastics and can even be mixed with them during recycling without any issues at all.
Other types of bioplastics target different properties not generally found in conventional plastics. Biodegradable cosmetic tubes derived from plant materials can help tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Many types of plastic packaging make their way into the environment and can take hundreds of years to break down.
Biodegradable plastics break down in a more realistic timeline. While they still retain strength and integrity during the product lifecycle, they will start to break down in environmental conditions over the course of a few years. This keeps products safe on store shelves and prevents plastics from accumulating in the environment.
Plastic Packaging and the Carbon Cycle
Plastic waste entering the environment isn’t the only sustainability concern when it comes to packaging. There’s also the carbon footprint associated with any type of packaging. Throughout its entire lifecycle, from raw material to recycling or disposal, plastic packaging production and use produce significant greenhouse gas emissions. Bioplastics drastically reduce this impact.
One important reason why bioplastics are more sustainable is that they don’t disrupt the carbon cycle. Throughout the world, carbon is continually changing into different forms. When carbon sources break down, whether burning fuel, composting plants, or degrading plastics, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. This is a major issue – if it causes carbon dioxide levels to rise.
In nature, carbon is constantly absorbed by plants to produce sugars, proteins, and other building blocks of life. It makes its way through the food chain and eventually back into the atmosphere. Bioplastics are made from plants, so the carbon they use is already circulating.
Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are sequestered deep underground. They’ve been sealed off from the carbon cycle for millions of years and would stay isolated for millions more if they weren’t exploited for fuel and chemical production. Plastics made from fossil fuels introduce more carbon into the cycle, increasing the total level and contributing to climate change.
Once established, bioplastic production is just another part of the carbon cycle. Each metric ton of bio-polyethylene produced reduces emissions by 2 to 2.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide compared to a ton of conventional polyethylene over its life cycle. With bioplastics, packaging can significantly reduce its carbon footprint.
Sustainable Packaging With LAGEEN TUBES
With LAGEEN TUBES, your brand can take advantage of some of the latest developments in bioplastic packaging. We offer bio-polyethylene squeeze tubes derived from natural sugar cane. These tubes are chemically identical to conventional polyethylene, providing the strength and protection your product needs while reducing environmental impact.
Tubes are available both in 100% sugar cane bio-polyethylene and blends with post-consumer recycled polyethylene. You can fulfill your brand’s commitment to sustainability and let your customers know that you’re a truly green company by reaching out to LAGEEN TUBES about sustainable packaging today.