Aren’t you an onion? You acquire new layers as you grow into this wonderful complex being. As you age, sometimes it becomes essential to peel off some of those layers and put them to good use. Life starts to taste better that way.
We thought that we could do that with plastic, aluminum, and paper and yes we did. We have been utterly bewitched by it since then.
We can see why the industry is fascinated with multi-layers, especially the food industry. Multi layered packaging is light, it reduces shipping volume and is graphics friendly. What’s not to like?
What we don’t want to deal with is what comes next – waste management – reuse and recycling. Layering different materials together makes it more functional but renders it hard to recycle. All that multi-layering boils down to a tasteless stew. This kind of packaging is wide-spread, just like onions, and moreover you probably won’t even notice that you’ve used it. A bag of chips can have 7 layers!
Ban it! Some have taken this approach. Don’t ban it! Some are still on the lookout for new technologies that can recycle this stuff.
Are you still interested in learning about this? Here are a few links for you to read, I have dug through the dirt to give you the finest.
- The case of multi-layered packaging – offers a good introduction and has a bit about India’s approach on it
- When Maharashtra banned it in 2018 and continues to enforce its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy
- So many solutions but who’s putting them in place?