When choosing a packing material for your project or company, it is easy to become overwhelmed quickly. Many materials are available at a wide array of costs, each coming with pros and cons.
How do you know which one is the best material for packaging? Often, the choice can be boiled down to either Styrofoam or molded pulp. Let’s take a look at the key differences between these two solutions. There’s a clear winner for both your company and your customers.
Styrofoam and Foam Packaging
For almost 100 years, Styrofoam has been a dominant force in the packaging industry, in the United States and abroad. While trademarked as a brand name, Styrofoam has entered the common vernacular as an umbrella term for products made from polystyrene foam. Polystyrene is a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum.
Styrofoam’s proliferation and widespread adoption as a packaging foam can be directly attributed to its lightweight nature, leading to lower shipping costs, and its insulating properties. Styrofoam can also be easily molded and shaped into various forms, allowing for ease of use and flexibility when packaging.
Unfortunately, the creation, use, and disposal of petroleum-based and petrochemical products can often negatively affect the environment and human health, as is the case with Styrofoam.
When Styrofoam is exposed to direct sunlight, it can release harmful chemicals that can help to destroy the ozone layer, something that often occurs in landfills where it sits directly in the sun for weeks at a time.
Styrofoam is extremely non-biodegradable and often takes around 500 years to decompose, thus making it a common sight in landfills. Animals can often mistake Styrofoam for food, which causes serious health issues for them upon ingestion. Styrofoam and other petroleum-based products greatly contribute to the influx of microplastics in waterways and oceans, harming fish populations and populations of animals and humans who eat them.
Molded Pulp Packaging
Molded pulp packaging is an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam, made from recycled cardboard, newspapers, and other organic fibers. Frequently, molded pulp packaging is crafted from materials that have undergone multiple cycles of recycling, contributing to its eco-friendly nature.
Molded pulp packaging is significantly better for the environment than Styrofoam, with its biodegradability being a big factor. Molded pulp products are made from compostable materials and don’t take up room in landfills for long, and if they enter natural ecosystems, they quickly decompose without releasing any toxic chemicals.
Pulp products can be employed in every single industry where Styrofoam products are currently used. You don’t have to compromise on flexibility or sturdiness in any way by making the switch.
Molded pulp packaging can be used to move large everyday items from pressure washers and power tools to more industrial items such as pumps, motors, gearboxes, and actuators. As egg cartons made of fibrous pulp materials protect eggs in grocery stores daily, molded pulp products can be stacked and used to store the most delicate of items.
In recent years, many businesses have begun to switch from petroleum-based products to sustainable packaging, with molded pulp packaging being a premier choice. Molded pulp packaging continues to provide a sturdy yet customizable packaging material.
With this switch, companies are able to contribute to the longevity and well-being of natural ecosystems and meet consumer preferences for greener products and practices.
Keiding’s Innovative Custom Packaging Solutions
Keiding, Inc. produces custom-made molded pulp packaging for commercial, industrial, consumer, and specialty products. Our molded pulp is also edible for cattle, making it a great material for feeding tubs.
To learn more about Keiding and our custom molded pulp packaging products, contact us and see how we can help serve your needs. You can join us in helping to create a cleaner, more sustainable future.