Green packaging refers to packaging that is made from sustainable packaging materials, which are completely bio-degradable and non-toxic for the environment. This kind of green packaging is barely implemented in modern day packaging procedures or methods.
When we talk about achieving sustainability and adopting a conscious lifestyle, we must first step back and visualize the bigger picture before closing in on the smaller details. If any product claims to be all-natural, it should cover every aspect, or rather, in this case, the three ‘Ps’ that it really boils down to, Process, Product, and Packaging.
Muezart has already given us a lucid view of the various stages of their processes, from their partners – the artisans, their natural indigenous techniques and dyeing process, to their natural products, all the components that go into the products, and their religious utilization of, what would otherwise be considered waste, as an effort at Circular Economy.
The final stage of this process – Packaging – plays a vital role in working towards this end. It is often overlooked, but the importance of incorporating eco-friendly or green packaging in sustainable development is quite the contrary.
5 Reasons Why Green Packaging/Sustainable Packaging is Important
- Environmental Impact – Instead of putting tons and tons of plastic and other toxic waste into the dumping grounds every year, we always have the conscious choice of going a kinder way. By innovating and using pre-existent eco-friendly or green packaging methods and materials that do not post a threat to the environment or any of its inhabitants.
- Responsible Sourcing – When we use sustainable packaging, it is an automatic implication that the supply chain is managed, such that, materials used are being sourced responsibly and naturally. This means that they follow a certain socially or ethically acceptable protocol of extracting the materials that are used for packaging.
- Biodegradable/ Compostable – This kind of packaging biodegrades in natural environment and can also be composted. Bamboo, specifically, is 100% biodegradable and breaks down into its natural components!
- Long-term Feasibility – To implement green packaging efficiently, it must be designed and developed and produced to be cost effective as well as durable. Once these are looked to, it becomes a better long-term sustainable solution for the future.
- Clean Conscience – It is no easy feat for an e-commerce company especially, to employ safe, eco-friendly packaging but when done systematically, and with moral compass guiding it, this can be carried out. Once the previously mentioned, three ‘P’s of sustainability are clean, so is does our conscience.
The Taxing Ways of Waste
The sad truth about the majority of modern-day packaging is that most of the materials used are non-biodegradable, the most common of which are synthetic polymers, like polyethylene.
Polyethylene poses a great threat to the environment. Not only is it toxic and non-biodegradable, but even when it is broken down (photo-degradation) into smaller components, it does, into smaller toxic particles which affect and degrade the environment and its surroundings.
Other materials such as Aluminum and glass, which are also commonly used for packaging of goods, are relatively less strenuous on the environment but still toxic, nonetheless.
Why We Choose to Adopt an Eco-Friendly Approach
The philosophy of ‘Live and let live’ should be a principle to live by. The relationship between us and our environment should be one that is co-beneficial. When we take, take, and barely ever give back to the environment, it creates a Bermuda Triangle of energy and resources. This constant degradation of the environment will eventually turn fatal to everyone involved. We believe in giving back, as much as we’re capable of, to ensure a better, sustainable future where we don’t have to resort to hurting the environment or our surroundings.
Thus, with these ideals in mind, working towards sustainable development and promoting and spreading awareness on conscious living becomes more likely a possibility.
How Are Indigenous Methods Furthering Progressive Sustainability?
In the progressive world we live in, nothing can truly be halted. A cycle is always in place, and because of this, the only thing we can do is minimize and control the losses and backlash we are already facing from the environmental impacts.
So, to achieve an Eco-friendly or ecologically favorable balance, we shift our focus to natural and indigenous ways and methods. The Indigenous people in Meghalaya thrive with nature, rather than against, and wholly support the preservation and protection of the environment. They depend on nature and the environment for sustainability, short as well as long-term.
This has been implemented not only in our products but also in the packaging methods and materials.
Our Recyclable/ Eco-friendly Packaging
We’ve always tried to make use of the materials naturally available to us, and this applies to our packaging as well. This is where bamboo fits in perfectly!
The two natural materials that are exclusively used for packaging are bamboo and paper, both of which are green, eco-friendly, clean, non-toxic, and sustainable.
All our natural materials are sourced locally and responsibly. There lie a reservoir of materials and resources available to us, everywhere around us, and in abundance!
Bamboo And Everything Great About It
The solution to the ever-present problem of toxic packaging waste has been presented by nature itself – Bamboo. There exist so many attributes to bamboo that make it the most favorable eco-friendly packaging material, but here’s a few we’ve chalked it up to:
1. Eco-friendly/ Recyclable
Bamboo packaging is an eco-friendly packaging material that has emerged in recent years instead of wood, paper, metal, and plastic. It plays a big part in alleviating the shortage of resources in modern society because the entire production process is handmade, and therefore, protects forest resources and brings down our carbon footprint significantly. This kind of sustainable packaging is an ample instance of making use of the natural products available in nature.
2. Environmental contribution
Not only is bamboo eco-friendly but also there are so many advantages to growing bamboo because of how much it also contributes to the environment. It absorbs 2x more Carbon dioxide than other trees, almost acting as carbon sinks that generate enormous amounts of Oxygen, roughly 30% more than most plants and trees. It strengthens and stabilizes the ground and soil in which it is planted, which in turn prevents landslides.
It is also a safe haven for different species (Especially pandas!) and thus protects biodiversity.
3. Its Durability and Strength
Bamboo has been given the name ‘Green Steel’ because of its high durability and strength, which can especially be useful when used as packaging. It is great as a biodegradable packaging material due to its ability to biodegrade and get broken down completely in a short span of time, despite being such a strong and durable material.
4. The Impressive Growth Rate
Bamboo packaging is green, economical, and especially practical, owing to the fact that it is the fastest growing plant on earth. It is highly sustainable and can grow to its complete size in just 3- 4 months in contrast to other trees, which take years to grow. Its cultivation is also a natural one, where pesticides are not required.
In favorable conditions, it can even grow 3 feet tall in just 24 hours.
5. Hygienic and safe
Another reason why bamboo is so great as eco-friendly packaging. The need does not arise for bamboo to undergo any kind of chemical or toxic treatment since its fibers are already naturally anti-bacterial. This is because of a substance called ‘bamboo kun,’ which is very interesting!
This bamboo kun is an antimicrobial bio-agent found in the bamboo fiber and is what gives bamboo its natural antibacterial properties. This prevents bacteria and microbes from growing on bamboo products, making it perfect for the purpose.6. Appreciation Value
Bamboo holds a certain appreciation value because of the beauty in work that goes into creating it, which some might even refer to as ‘artwork.’ Every aspect of this makes for, dare I say, maybe the best and the most fruitful sustainable material we can naturally attain from the environment.
The Creative Variety
Muezart has pioneered the use of bamboo in the packaging of almost all products in several ways:
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is. This is directly taken from the naturally grown bamboo patches. A specific size of bamboo is required for this tube bamboo with a roughly a 4-inch diameter. The outer covering is then peeled off, and the bamboo is smoothened and boiled in Boric acid, which occurs naturally in nature.
These bamboo tubes are usually used in the packaging of the Eri Silk stoles and shawls.
These mini tubes are an imitation of the bamboo tubes, except they are made from a specific type of bamboo, locally known as ‘Siej naka,’ which is much narrower. The bamboo used is handpicked, and the diameter must be about 3-4mm in size, and the same process of smoothening is repeated. The Eri embroidery thread is wrapped around this mini bamboo. Interesting, isn’t it?
So, we see that all the materials used are completely eco-friendly and green.
Fun Fact of the day:
Lac, a resinous secretion that is extracted from a number of species of lac insects (Laccifer lacca), has been used for centuries in Meghalaya as a natural dye. The word ‘Lac’ is actually derived from the Sanskrit word lākshā' (लाक्षा), which represents the number 100,000, referring to the large number of lac insects that colonize the trees they’re cultivated on.
Here’s the interesting part – After the dyeing process is complete, the residue can again be used in the making of several crafts, most commonly used in the making of Knife handles! No plastic! All-natural and green.