Dog or cat food: in a paper bag or with a layer of plastic?
Paper is gaining popularity as a packaging material. We want to eliminate plastic packaging material because of its environmental impact. For that reason, plastic containers and tubs are being replaced with paper alternatives. But is paper always a suitable replacement for plastic packaging? For dog and cat food, for example? Keep reading to find out.
Plastic plates, straws and packaging: they are quickly losing ground. Since 3 July, disposable plastics have been banned altogether. They tend to be replaced with paper alternatives because this is better for the environment, especially when it ends up in nature as waste.
Paper is also the first suitable alternative that comes to mind where food packaging is concerned. But paper is often fitted with coating to avoid leaky, torn or greasy packaging. These coatings are made of plastic which means they pollute the recycling stream. Paper packaging comes with several disadvantages.
No endless recycling
In our own search for the best packaging material, paper was one of the top candidates. But we quickly stumbled upon several disadvantages. For starters, you need a large amount of paper to guarantee the same strength and shelf life as with plastic packaging.
Another disadvantage is that paper can only be recycled a couple of times. And in order to guarantee the quality of recycled paper, fresh paper fibres need to be added every time which means the recycling process is not completely circular.
And then there is the coating issue: food packaging often required a layer of plastic coating on the inside to guarantee the shelf life of the product. This plastic coating makes recycling more difficult and reduces the number of cycles. When a packaging can no longer be recycled, new trees are needed to produce paper. Did you know that both the production of paper and its recycling are processes that emit more CO2 than in the case of plastic?
Can plastic be fully replaced by paper?
Paper has a good image and many consider it the ultimate alternative to plastic. But replacing all plastics with paper would take more surface area to produce all that paper than currently available. More paper means more trees. And we simply cannot afford to get rid of them. Plus, the recycling capacity for paper is too small to achieve such a drastic transition. Not enough surface area on earth and insufficient recycling capacity: two issues that get in the way of replacing all plastics with paper.
Our earth offers limited raw materials. That is why recycling is a very important theme in our packaging story. As much as we would like there to be a packaging material without disadvantages, there isn’t. All coins have two sides: whether it be paper versus plastic, or production versus recycling. Yarrah is convinced that circularity is the key. That is why we opt for mono PE as a packaging material for our pet foods. Read all about mono PE and why it remains the best solution for now, in this blog.