Paper packaging or plastic packaging? That is the question!

What is the difference between plastic and paper packaging? Which one is more appropriate to choose?

The IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute conducted a study to evaluate the difference between the two materials, which were carefully compared based on parameters such as functionality, product life cycle, and, consequently, environmental impact.

The research took as examples some everyday products, such as pasta or baby spoons, packaged in existing plastic and cardboard packaging with equivalent functionality.

To compare the two packages of the same product, the study relied on measurements from European environmental databases.

In addition to functionality, the life cycle of the two types of packaging, including the recycling phase, was also evaluated to understand and have real data on their respective environmental impacts.

At the level of functionality, it was found that plastic, compared with cardboard, has the advantage of making airtight packaging that can protect certain products, such as pharmaceuticals, and also, for the same product, packaging made of plastic is lighter than packaging made of cardboard.

Regarding water resistance, unfortunately this is a quality on which, at least for the time being, cardboard cannot compete. Whereas, with regard to weight and thus the amount of material used for paper packaging, this is not a drawback since, compared to plastic, cardboard can be recycled and acquire a new life, thus offering substantial environmental advantages over its competitor.

Plastic comes mainly from fossil raw materials; during its entire cycle, from production to the end of its life, it emits carbon dioxide.

Paper packaging, according to the study conducted, thus represents a viable alternative that can equate with plastic, with the great advantage of significantly reducing environmental impact: cardboard is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Thanks to a circular economy, it can be reborn and become useful again.

In conclusion, choosing cardboard packaging also reduces environmental impact.

Cardboard packaging is obtained from corrugated cardboard, the centrepiece of Cartiere Modesto Cardella’s production, made by recycling it using technology that minimizes the company’s impact on the planet.

If cardboard can one day replace and equalize 100% with its plastic competitor, it will also be thanks to companies like this, always ready and attentive to invest in environmentally friendly resources and initiatives.

Photo created by Marcell Viragh on Unsplash

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