PaperAge Magazine

Why Paper Remains a Top Pick for Recyclable Packaging

paper void fill Paper is a sturdy, ecological packaging material. When used as void fill, paper is a recyclable replacement for foam packing peanuts.

By Ken Chrisman, President of Product Care Division, Sealed Air

Nov. 16, 2018 - Reducing has been the hallmark of Sealed Air since day one — reducing damage, reducing waste and reducing energy, among other things. A reduction in packaging materials leads to smaller parcels, which reduces warehouse storage space and the number of truckloads required to ship products.

Some of our packaging solutions also help to reduce environmental impacts. One of those solutions is paper, which comes from renewable materials and is easy for consumers to recycle.

How it's made

Sealed Air's paper packaging offerings are made of 100 percent recycled materials sourced from pre- and post-consumer recycled paper and manufactured in paper mills that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Not only is our paper green, but our process is too. We operate two state-of-the-art paper facilities in Pennsylvania. Both plants are rich in paper-making history and tradition, yet outfitted with the latest technological advancements. These plants produce less than 1 percent waste material. One of the facilities operates one of the few completely closed water systems in the country, which means all the water used to manufacture the paper is re-circulated through the mill — not discharged to a municipal wastewater treatment center.

Paper with a purpose

Paper is a sturdy, ecological packaging material. When used as void fill, paper is a recyclable replacement for foam packing peanuts. When used as a cushioning agent, paper can provide blocking and bracing protection that performs as well as expanded polystyrene foam, which is not recyclable.

Paper is stronger than you might think. Employing the engineering of Sealed Air's systems, which crimp and create multi-ply solutions, paper has the power to protect heavy-duty products such as auto parts during transit. These systems provide paper packaging materials on demand, which minimizes the physical footprint needed to store materials, allowing for the operational expansion and increased revenue of a business.

Paper is also proving to be a good fit for meal kit deliveries. Sealed Air offers a curbside recyclable paper liner that provides 24 to 48 hours of insulation, making it an ideal solution for the fresh ingredients placed inside meal preparation boxes.

Our research shows 27 percent of Americans say one of their pet peeves about packaging is that it's difficult to recycle or unrecyclable (meaning it's not curbside recyclable or it's unclear if it's recyclable at all). Paper has many valuable properties, and recyclability tops the list. But paper isn't Sealed Air's only recyclable solution. The plastic air pillows found in many e-commerce shipments are recyclable at store drop-off locations. And Korrvu is curbside recyclable.

As more consumers seek ways to become environmentally responsible, paper is a good way for retailers to address those sustainability concerns.

Sealed Air is a knowledge-based company focused on packaging solutions that help customers achieve sustainability goals in the face of today's biggest social and environmental challenges. To learn more, please visit:

SOURCE: Sealed Air