Paper vs Plastic Packaging

By Sam Smith

May 19th 2022

In a world where we’re all trying to be more environmentally friendly and to put the needs of our planet first, one of the biggest conversations in commerce has been around the use of paper vs. plastic.

But is paper packaging better than plastic? What are the pros and cons of each? And how do we find better ways to package our goods without leaning too heavily on the earth’s precious resources? Let’s find out.

Plastic pros and cons

Plastic became the norm when it came to packaging because it was cheap, versatile, and held longer-lasting properties. As plastic production boomed, it seemed like the most obvious choice for businesses wanting to cut costs.

Of course, this came at a cost – and as a result plastic has a bad rap. But plastic does have some advantages, especially when it comes to durability and flexibility. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of plastic packaging.

The pros of plastic

  • Long-lasting
  • Affordable
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Can be used for a range of purposes

The cons of plastic

  • Production creates high levels of carbon dioxide
  • Takes a long time to decompose
  • Not always recyclable

Paper pros and cons

Paper is considered to be a sustainable and environmentally-friendly choice of packaging, and in many ways it is. Paper is a biodegradable product and comes from a renewable energy source, meaning that it can be replenished. It contributes less toxins to the world than plastic production, although it does contribute to deforestation.

While many would answer yes to the question “is paper packaging better than plastic?,” paper doesn’t come without its own set of drawbacks. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of paper packaging.

The pros of paper

  • Can be recycled
  • Made from renewable energy source
  • Can be reused
  • Doesn’t bring toxins into the environment

The cons of paper

  • Some paper has plastic coating
  • Can damage
  • Has to be stored carefully

Why paper packaging is the best packaging solution

The world still has a long way to go when it comes to savvy sustainable packaging solutions. While paper is considered to be the lesser of two evils, there are still issues, such as deforestation and the harvesting of trees impacting the absorption of greenhouse gases, along with the high volume of water it takes to grow trees and produce paper.

However, with plastic having such an impact on our waterways, soil, animals, and fertility of the land, paper is the best solution when weighing up the pros and cons of each.

Why choose Smith Packaging?

At Smith Packaging, we have thought long and hard about our impact on the planet when it comes to the paper vs plastic packaging debate. Wherever possible, we’re striving to ensure all our packaging products are as eco-friendly as they can be.

From recyclable cardboard boxes to Kraft paper tape, biodegradable packing peanuts, and even polythene bags made from recycled materials, we want you to package your goods with a clean conscience.

Explore our eco-friendly packaging solutions today.