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Your doctor probably tells you to eat fiber-rich foods to keep your digestive system happy, but in the packaging world, fiber takes on a whole new meaning. Plastic has long reigned as a favorite packaging material thanks to its flexibility and versatility. However, plastic comes at a steep price to our environment and health, which is why experts are excited to introduce fiber as a sustainable alternative.

Dangers of Plastic

Plastic is a synthetic material, and since its original mass production in the 1940s, it has generated dramatic damage across the world. Chemicals are added to plastics during manufacturing, but are then absorbed by the human body and cause hormone disruptions and other adverse effects. Chemical-laced plastic debris all too often ends up discarded in marine and wildlife environments, injuring and poisoning animals. Even the plastic that ends up in landfills is damaging because the chemicals leach into groundwater and taint our sources of drinking water. It’s enough damage to seriously consider if the danger of plastic outweighs the convenience.

Molded Fiber Offers a Sustainable Solution

It’s easy to use and discard plastic while ignoring the consequences, but a new packaging business wants to eliminate the need for plastic at all. James Cropper 3-D Products recently developed a custom molded paper packaging product that is made entirely from renewable materials. Even better, the packaging qualifies for recycling with regular household paper products, so it eliminates landfill waste.

According to the company’s chief technology officer, Patrick Willink, JC3DP has made a mission out of delivering custom quality on a large scale. Their new fiber material is being used to package everything from personal care products and giftware to consumer electronics, housewares, and more. It is even proving to be just as versatile as plastic, as it can be created in a range of colors and easily substituted for plastic without any negative consumer feedback. The fiber can even be embossed and finished with different textures.

As Willink explains, “At the same time we can create molded packaging with uniform wall thickness and create holes with easeboth of which are extremely difficult to achieve in plastic and add significant benefits and value for our customers.” This is definitely going to be the rising trend in sustainable packaging.