Post Consumer Resin, Bio-Resin, & Specialty Polymers: Sustainable Resins for Packaging

Branden J. Kaczay
Dec. 1 2021

Eco-friendly and sustainable resins for the manufacturing of more environmentally friendly product packaging can be substituted almost anywhere traditional plastic resins are used, including straws, cutlery, and yes, stock packaging for a multitude of industries. PCR (Post Consumer Resin), bio-resins (bioplastics), and other specialty polymers are different types of sustainable resins that can be used to produce more eco-friendly “plastic” packaging.

With each of these substitutes having its own unique characteristics and benefits, there are some differences between these materials in regards to what is recyclable, what is biodegradable, and ultimately how each material benefits the environment. DISTRIBUPACK will work with customers to offer nearly any of its traditional plastic stock packaging offerings using PCR (with minimum order quantity qualifications met for any non-stocked items).

About Post Consumer Resin (PCR), Bio-Resin (Bioplastics), & Specialty Polymers

Post Consumer Resin (PCR) is the technical term for recycled plastic resin made from traditional plastic materials that have been sorted, sterilized, reground, and repurposed to be used again for manufacturing purposes. PCR creates less of a carbon footprint than producing the same product with raw virgin materials by reducing the need to create new traditional resin. PCR truly utilizes and maximizes the “life cycle” of a traditional resin while lowering the amount of plastic being sent to landfills and working to address the important needs of environmentally conscious consumers.

Specialty Polymers such as bioplastics (also known as bio-resins or plant-based resins) are biobased, meaning they are manufactured from naturally occurring renewable resources (such as corn) and possess “end-of-life” biodegradable and compostable properties. All compostables are biodegradable, but not all biodegradables are compostable, meaning they must produce compost to be considered so. The primary advantage of producing packaging using specialty polymers or bio-resins is a reduction in GHG, or CO2 emissions.

Bioplastics themselves can be separated into two categories: materials that are biodegradable, and materials that are not. Biodegradable bioplastics include polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and polylactic acid (PLA), among others. Non-biodegradable bioplastics include bio-based polyethylene (PE), bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and bio-polyamide (PA).

Benefits of PCR Jars, PCR Deodorant Tubes, & Bio-Resin Packaging

Products manufactured with PCR materials greatly help reduce the constant accumulation of waste in our landfills and oceans by using existing plastic waste to create new products rather than sending that existing waste to a landfill. PCR materials are made from recycled plastic, such as water and beverage bottles, plastic coat hangers, and more, while the products being produced using PCR materials continue to be of excellent quality.

In addition to PCR, bio-resins are an attractive option for those searching for eco-friendly packaging alternatives, as they derive some (if not all) of their integral monomers from biological sources, many of which are plant-based. By definition, a monomer is a molecule of any class of compounds that can react to other molecules to form very large molecules, or polymers. The biological/plant-based sources for the integral monomers (and ultimately polymers) are commonly corn or soybean by-products from bio-diesel fuel refinement due to the fact that corn and soybeans are efficient and widely available resources. Bio-resins utilize vegetable or plant-based resources to offer a pure or mixed composition depending on the physical design of the desired product, either way significantly reducing the amount of virgin plastic required.

DISTRIBUPACK Offers Sustainable Resins For Packaging

Ongoing shifts in the packaging industry and the world as a whole, including more involvement from a younger consumer demographic and continued learning of the effects on our environment, point to the benefits of offering sustainable resins for environmentally friendly packaging purposes. Purchasing stock packaging made with PCR or bio-resin materials presents real, tangible benefits to customers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and be more conscious of their effect on the environment by pursuing alternative packaging options that positively impact the health of our cities and our planet.

DISTRIBUPACK has the capability and the expertise to be able to provide nearly all of its stock packaging offerings made using PCR or bio-resin materials (with minimum order quantity requirements and lead times for any non-stocked, sustainable resin items). A few of the more popular DISTRIBUPACK items will be carried as “in stock” offerings made from PCR materials when available. DISTRIBUPACK welcomes you to contact a dedicated team member to discuss opportunities for eco-friendly, sustainable product packaging in greater detail to better understand what is right for you.

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