Here is a quick guide to the topics covered in each of the articles in my “The Packaging Industry and How We Can Consume Differently” series.
Part 1: Introduces the packaging industry, its history, false beliefs about packaging, and an introduction to the term greenwashing.
Part 2: Discusses greenwashing terms “biodegradable” and “compostable,” with examples. Introduction to Industrial Composting facilities; PFOAs (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances).
Part 3: Introduction to bioplastics (plant-based or plant-derived plastics), with greenwashing examples.
Part 4: Examines the pros and cons of the practice of lightweighting to reduce carbon emissions. Looks at cardboard cartons that are lined with plastic film.
Part 5: Discusses the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), examples of it, and opposition to EPR.
Part 6: Examines take-back programs as a type of EPR; their purposes, their issues, and recycling from take-back programs.
Part 7: Explores specific take-back programs including TerraCycle and examines Container Deposit programs. Includes glass milk bottles.
Part 8: Analyzes the packaging impacts of Walmart.
Part 9: Analyzes the packaging impacts of the largest online retailer, Amazon. Includes a list of companies that sell environmentally friendly shipping packaging.
Part 10: Explores RePack, a reusable mail packaging program; companies with sustainability built into their business models, creative packaging, naked packaging, and limited packaging.
Part 11: Reviews cleaning products with refillable packaging options.
Part 12: Reviews personal care products with refillable packaging options.
Part 13: Examines food packaging and how to avoid it; explores bulk bin food sections and TerraCycle’s Loop.
Epilogue: Recap of my process, goals, and hopes.