Environmental Impact of void material

In the past months, online shopping has rapidly increased and so did the usage of void materials used to avoid breaking or harming the products while being shipped. It is essential to think about the impact the chosen material has on the environment.

Let's compare some of the most commonly used materials with wood wool and see why it is the best option to choose as a void filler.


Styrofoam

Styrofoam is made of polystyrene which is made from petroleum. While there are some benefits such as its lightweight or insulation properties, it is not the best option when it comes to the environment.

Due to its composition, it is not biodegradable and because of its lightweight it can easily float on water. Nowadays it represents one of the major components of marine litter. Even though it is recyclable, only 3.6 % of the total amount produced is actually recycled. It takes 1000 to 1 000 000 years to decompose. As mentioned above, polystyrene is made from petroleum and this production vastly contributes to pollution. Last but not least, styrene is a carcinogen and can cause problems to human health.



Bubble wrap/air pillows

Both are made from polyethylene and are one of the most common void fillers. Even though there are some recyclable alternatives, these two are still not very eco- friendly options. They take about 1000 years to decompose and only 27 % of the material is recycled. In the times when the world fights climate change and plastic pollution, we should avoid using plastics as void fillers since those are in most of the cases used only once and then we get rid of them.


The two materials mentioned above are used most frequently, very often by big companies because they are relatively cheap. They come in different shapes and sizes but the material and the environmental impact are the same.



Wood wool

In contrast with polystyrene and plastic void fillers there is wood wool which is a 100 % natural product. It contains no chemicals or other harmful substances. It is biodegradable and eco-friendly. There is no doubt that other void fillers have rather a technical function and it is to keep the products safe during transport. Not only does wood wool protect the products but it also makes the whole package more aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, it smells really good. It is easy to work with as well since it fits well around products of various shapes and sizes.


In conclusion, wood wool has several benefits such as its environmental friendliness, flexibility or appearance. You may say that more trees are being cut due to usage of wood wool. Yes, but Forest Wool got it solved. Each year we donate money to a non-profit organization which plants baby trees in destroyed areas.



SOURCES:

http://www.packmile.com/portfolio_item/which-void-filler-is-the-most-sustainable/, (10.02.2021)

https://epe.global/2019/10/23/the-problems-with-void-fill-packaging-designs/, (10.02.2021)

https://excesslogic.com/how-styrofoam-is-bad-for-the-environment, (11.02.2021)

https://bizfluent.com/list-7458530-disadvantages-bubble-wrap.html, (11.02.2021)

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