20 Myths about Packaging

Posted by Jerad Dowler on Thu, Feb 19, 2015


Myths abound and most of them tend to be coming from too negative a perspective and ignore the key benefits and functions of packaging. Let's take a look at some of the top packaging myths:



Myth 1: Packaging is an unnecessary indulgence: 

Economic growth without packaging is impossible. Packaging protects practically all products from physical (crushing, bruising, shock, and vibration), chemical (rust, moisture gain or loss) and biological (bugs, microbes, mice, birds, senescence) damage.

Myth 2: Packaging fills the garbage bin and is increasing:

Wrong. EPA in 2014 estimated that a combined packaging (of containers, papers and plastics) made only 30% of waste, 31.2% by weight and 27.7% by volume.

Myth 3: Packaging causes unrecoverable waste:

No, EPA estimated that 34.5% of waste generated in the US alone was recovered for recycling. It has diverted 87 million tons from landfills.

Myth 4: "Say no to plastic bags":

 No, they're serving many purposes. They have the same worth as oil, but people litter them. The real truth here is recycling products after use is the best policy. 

Myth 5: Incineration (combustion) harms the environment:

Wastes harm the environment, not incineration. EPA estimated that incineration lessens waste by about 75% (by weight).  

Myth 6: Packaging wastes energy:

No, in 2014 alone, 84 waste-to-energy facilities are operational in the US only. They are producing 2,769 megawatt-hours of electricity (EPA). Notable is that it takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than a paper.  

Myth 7: Recycling Plastic bags is costly

No, the price isn't so high. Recycling saves resources and lessens the wastes going to landfills. The real price is not recycling. 

Myth 8: Polystyrene isn't recyclable:Recycling_film_

Expanded polystyrene is 100% technically recyclable and recycled at the plant level.

Myth 9: Laminates aren't environment-friendly:

No, they are. Laminates allow for custom-made materials to be more efficient for packaging. They're more effective than any other alternative and are recyclable.

Myth 10: Packaging should be returnable for reuse:

No, they are. Almost all manufacturers and regulators now encourage returnable packaging (EPA).

Myth 11: Packaging causes litter:

The message it contains is simple: Littering should stop. People cause litter and the solution is to enforce littering laws.


Myth 12: Products are over-packaged:

This is arguably true. Source reduction helps prevent products when least-expensive packaging has been demonstrated.  

Myth 13: Manufacturers force more packaging:

They do not - and why would they? Manufacturers almost always seek the inexpensive ways to meet your requirements, complicated by legal constraints and corporate pressures.

Myth 14: Packaging is deceptive:

This is half true. While the majority of production firms are honest, many use deceptive packaging. Deceptive yet clever packaging costs them heavily - which is why using a reputable packaging source is beneficial to your organization.

Myth 15: Shrink-wrap on a cucumber is a waste

Now studies have proved that a shrink-wrapped cucumber lasts threefold compared to an unwrapped one. It loses 1.5% of weight during evaporation (in 14 days), in comparison with the 3.5% for an exposed cucumber.

Myth 16: Packaging should be biodegradable.

Stretch films (including hand-films, machine films, and special films) and shrink wrap are biodegradable. They're now used to make extruded bags.  


Myth 17: Stretch Film isn't environmental-friendly.

No, stretch film is environment-friendly and gives good protection to the products packaged with excellent clarity.

Myth 18: Packaging causes energy waste.

No, in 2014 alone, 84 waste-to-energy facilities are operational in the US only. They are producing 2,769 megawatt-hours of electricity.  

Myth 19: "No packaging is best":

No packaging promotes food spoilage and widespread spread of diseases. No packaging also prevents sterile drugs and promotes damage to products and hazardous waste.

Myth 20: Stretch film is way too costly:

No, it is less expensive than blown stretch film owing to its less production cost.


 Bottom line: Myths are fictitious. What gets lost in these instant indictments is the way that mass production works these days, within a minimum of human intervention and maximum of self-help. 


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