Plastic clamshell containers are a popular and versatile packaging option for many industries, especially for food, grocery and restaurant-related businesses as well as many retail products. There are many different materials that can be used for clamshells, and that includes several sustainable options, including the following.
1. Recyclable Materials
Virtually every material we use at Indepak is recyclable. Materials such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) are accepted by virtually every curbside recycling program in the country.
Additionally, you’ll find that more and more cities, businesses, colleges and hospitals are setting up trash cans that make it easy for employees and customers to recycle these materials. You’ll find trash cans everywhere divided into categories such as paper, plastic and landfill. Creating plastic clamshell containers using highly recyclable plastics can be an easy way to improve your overall sustainability.
2. Recycled Content
Some plastic clamshell containers can be created using recycled content. In some cases, we can create your package entirely out of recycled materials, either post-consumer or pre-consumer materials. We also can create a portion of the packaging using recycled content, which can be more budget friendly yet still increase your overall sustainability.
As a side note, post-consumer materials are plastics that are recycled after consumers have used the product. For instance, maybe a water bottle will be recycled into a new container. With pre-consumer materials, these are materials that might have been processed during the creation of said water bottle, yet never actually touched by a consumer, such as the plastic trimmed away from the bottle.
3. Biodegradable Plastics & Compostable Plastics
Biodegradable plastics and compostable plastics can be the same thing, but not always. While compostable plastics biodegrade, not all biodegradable plastics are compostable. In fact, some biodegradable plastics must be sent to special facilities in order to undergo the biodegradation process. This can be tough for consumers as they may not know that, and it can be cumbersome to get used packaging to a facility that processes biodegradable plastics.
Typically, landfills are not the proper place for biodegradable plastics or compostable plastics. At most landfills, the conditions are not right for biodegrading to occur. There is simply too much stuff in the landfill and it’s just too compact for biodegradation to happen.
There must dirt, microorganisms and oxygen in the landfill to support biodegrading, and for the vast majority of American landfills, this is not the case. However, a few landfills have been designed to facilitate the biodegrading process, but these are few and far between at present.
With compostable plastics, some of these items can be placed in a compost or greenwaste bin, which is an easier option for consumers. Rather than focusing on the biodegradable option, it might be better to look for compostable options that consumers can place in a greenwaste bin.
Bioplastics are plastics that are created using renewable materials. At Indepak, we can use starch-based bioplastics to create many plastic clamshell containers. If you are searching for plastics made from renewable sources, bioplastics can be a great option to consider.
5. Smaller Packaging
We’ve all heard the mantra – reduce, reuse, recycle, and we’ve discussed how we can find recycled and recyclable options for your plastic, hitting on the reuse and recycle components.
However, reducing the amount of plastic used to create plastic clamshell containers is another option to consider. We can create a design that uses a minimum amount of plastic material while still protecting your product. For many non-food products, you also could consider a combination design, such as a trap blister, which uses less plastic and incorporates paper or pulp into the design.
If you think back in the past, you might remember huge plastic packaging was once fairly common, but we’ve all greatly reduced the size of our packaging. Not only is this better for the environment, when you use less packaging, you pay for less packaging, and so it will have a positive effect on your overall budget.
Plastic clamshell containers definitely don’t have to be huge in order to be protective. We will study your product carefully, and create a package design that reduces the overall amount of materials that need to be used.
At Indepak, we are highly concerned about the natural environment, and are committed to continuously striving to minimize the impact of our activities on the environment. If you are need of plastic clamshell containers, give us a call and we can discuss your sustainable options.