Sustainable Materials for Packaging and Industrial Bags: Following USA Guidelines

published Mar 14, 2024
1 min read

As environmental concerns continue to rise, industries are seeking sustainable solutions for packaging and industrial bags. In the United States, guidelines and regulations are shaping the way businesses approach material choices to reduce environmental impact.

By adopting sustainable materials, companies can meet these guidelines while promoting eco-friendly practices. Let’s delve into the world of sustainable materials for packaging and industrial bags, guided by USA regulations, in easy-to-understand language.

Understanding Sustainable Materials

Sustainable materials are those that minimise environmental impact throughout their lifecycle, from sourcing to disposal. These materials are renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, or made from recycled content. Examples include paper, cardboard, bioplastics, compostable plastics, and textiles like jute or cotton. By choosing sustainable materials, companies can reduce carbon emissions, conserve natural resources, and mitigate waste generation.

USA Guidelines for Sustainable Packaging

The United States has various guidelines and regulations aimed at promoting sustainable packaging practices. These include the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) guidelines, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommendations, and state-specific regulations. The SPC advocates for materials and design strategies that minimise environmental impact, while the EPA encourages the use of recyclable and compostable packaging materials. State regulations may vary, but many emphasise recycling and waste reduction initiatives.

Paper and Cardboard

Paper and cardboard are widely recognized as sustainable packaging materials. They are renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable, making them environmentally friendly options. In line with USA guidelines, companies can choose paper and cardboard packaging that is certified by organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), indicating responsible forestry practices. Additionally, using recycled paper and cardboard further reduces environmental impact by diverting waste from landfills.


Bioplastics are derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, sugarcane, or cellulose. Unlike traditional plastics, which are derived from fossil fuels, bioplastics offer a more sustainable alternative. However, it’s essential to choose bioplastics that are certified compostable or biodegradable according to USA guidelines. Proper disposal methods, such as industrial composting facilities, ensure that bioplastics break down efficiently, minimising environmental harm.

Compostable Plastics

Compostable plastics are designed to break down into organic matter in composting facilities, leaving behind no harmful residues. These plastics, considered a sustainable alternative, meet strict standards for compostability, as outlined by organisations like the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). By choosing compostable plastics for packaging and industrial bags, companies can align with USA guidelines for waste reduction and environmental protection. This is especially relevant in industries where zipper bags are commonly used, as compostable options offer a sustainable alternative to traditional single-use plastics. Incorporating compostable zipper bags into packaging solutions not only reduces reliance on non-biodegradable materials but also supports efforts to promote circular economy principles and minimise environmental impact.

Recycled Materials

Using recycled materials is another effective way to promote sustainability in packaging and industrial bags. Recycled plastics, metals, and textiles divert waste from landfills and reduce the demand for virgin resources. Companies can incorporate post-consumer recycled content into their packaging and bags, contributing to circular economy principles endorsed by USA guidelines. Additionally, promoting the recyclability of products encourages consumers to participate in recycling efforts.

Jute and Cotton Bags:

According to fibc manufacturer, “For industrial applications, durable and reusable bags made from natural fibres like jute or cotton offer sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics” .

These materials are biodegradable, renewable, and have a lower environmental footprint compared to synthetic materials. By investing in jute and cotton bags, companies can reduce reliance on disposable packaging while adhering to USA guidelines for sustainable practices.


Sustainable materials play a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges associated with packaging and industrial bags. By following USA guidelines and regulations, companies can make informed decisions about material choices, ultimately reducing their environmental impact. From paper and cardboard to bioplastics and recycled materials, there are numerous options available to promote sustainability throughout the supply chain. By embracing sustainable practices, businesses can contribute to a healthier planet while meeting the needs of consumers and regulators alike.