Packaging Sustainability

Eco friendly pouches for your products and customers

four sustainable pouch types in white and brand colors encompased by the recycling icon

As specialists in sustainable pouch packaging, every decision we take considers the wider environmental impact. By partnering with us you’ll benefit from the processes we put in place to ensure your doypack, stand up pouches, spout pouches and custom sachets are as sustainable as they can be. This helps you to do your part for the environment, and demonstrates to your customers that you’re a company that cares about sustainability.

Join us on our sustainability journey...
four sustainable pouch types in white and brand colors encompased by the recycling icon

Eco Friendly Pouches

At SPS Pouches, we prefer our customers to make informed decisions on the type of packaging to purchase, so we are happy to share our knowledge with you.  When designing your eco friendly stand up pouches, spout pouches and aluminium sachets, what do you need to know to ensure you have made the sustainable choice?

Biodegradable pouches

Technically, everything biodegrades (yes, even plastic) so it isn’t a great term to use to market packaging. In recent years a type of ‘biodegradable’ film called oxo-degradable was banned in the EU as it was actually found to have a negative environmental impact. We advise our customers to avoid claims of ‘biodegradable pouches’. 

Compostable pouches

This is a growing market and unfortunately, some suppliers aren’t always completely honest about the true nature of this ‘eco-friendly’ packaging solution. There are two types of compostable pouches, home compostable and industrial compostable. 

The majority of compostable pouches are actually made from a bioplastic called PLA (also still plastic), which cannot be recycled and can only be composted under specific conditions at an industrial facility - the material has a poor barrier so is not suitable for many products. There is little or no infrastructure in the UK for compostable pouches to be collected, so it’s not a great solution for all businesses.

As far as home compostable pouches go, we have yet to find anything that is suitable for protecting your products - it simply doesn’t make sense for something to be capable of degrading quickly at home whilst also being capable of withstanding the atmospheric conditions of different supply chains over a long period of time (some products will sit on the shelf for 6+ months!). 

Buyers beware, the primary purpose of packaging is to protect your products, so you need good barrier properties and something that won’t start to decompose on the supermarket shelf. That’s not to say that there aren’t good applications for compostable packaging as we move to a circular economy. A great example of where compostable pouches work well is in a closed loop environment, such as a festival or hospitality event. All of the compostable packaging and food waste can be collected at the end of the event and sent to an industrial compost facility together. 

Paper-based pouches

Most of the time, these pouches actually contain a layer of plastic film in order to protect the products inside - although paper looks like sustainable packaging, the reality is that when mixed with plastic, it is much harder to recycle. Although Kraft pouches look more eco-friendly, the reality is that countless LCA studies show that plastics are a greener solution than paper, even when not recycled. 

Recyclable pouches

SPS Pouches are committed to ensuring all of our pouches are either recyclable or reusable by 2025. Consumers can currently take their stand up pouches, spout pouches and other flexible packaging to supermarkets to be recycled. The implementation of EPR in the UK is intended to fund the infrastructure for the kerbside collection of flexible packaging over the next few years, which we fully support. 

We are also actively working on an offering to include up to 30% post-consumer recycled content into our packaging but we are not quite there yet. With the implementation of the new Plastic Packaging Tax this is something we are looking to offer alongside our mono-material pouches.

There are many other factors that should be considered when designing sustainable packaging for your brand such as packaging weight, the materials used, artwork design and resource efficiency. 

Our sustainability specialists are on hand to help with any of your concerns and questions, so please get in touch. 

Be a brand that cares

Why is pouch packaging a more sustainable alternative?

Sustainability in Packaging

Why are custom printed pouches a good choice for sustainable packaging?

Resource efficient

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High product to packaging ratio

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Designed for recyclability

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Requires fewer packaging materials

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Lightweight & easy to transport

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Consistent with the circular economy

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Stand up pouches are a resource efficient flexible packaging option that can be adapted across numerous industries, products and markets. Our goal is to support our customers in the decision making process to consider the materials being used for their packaging, and help them to choose a result that is fit for their product while being as sustainable as possible. Learn more about why pouch packaging may be the perfect fit for your product with our frequently asked questions below.

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How does pouch packaging help to reduce waste?

How do we ensure our pouches are great for recycling?

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How does pouch packaging fit into the circular economy?

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How does pouch packaging help to reduce my environmental footprint?

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What is the reality of sustainability in pouch packaging?

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Are bioplastics oxo-degradable, biodegradable or compostable?

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Are there any recycling challenges?

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Contact us

Get in touch today to customise your printed stand up pouches and stand up to your competitors with high-quality printed packaging.

Learn more about our custom eco friendly pouches

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Find out more about printed stand up pouches and our other types of custom pouch packaging