The Future is Packaged Plastic Free, Organic, and Compostable

There is a clear trend to package products plastic free. Why is plastic free packaging so important? Are there alternatives to plastic packaging that actually work? The developments in this area are happening fast, and they’re here to stay. Packaging in the future will be plastic free, organic and even compostable.


One third of all plastic is used for packaging

Our plastic soup problem has by now grown literally to three times the size of France: 1.6 million square meters.[1] There is 8.3 billion square tonne plastic in our environment, of which 91% is not recycled.[2] Packaging takes up one third of all this plastic use.[3] Use of packaging materials is also increasing, since we are ordering more and more products online, thus enlarging the problem. It turns out suppliers do actively consider the packaging of their products.[4] They are more often than not unhappy with plastic, but choose it anyway because of its many advantages: protection against dirt, dust, and insects; taking up little space, thus saving on transport costs; sturdiness; and low costs (sometimes up to 20-30 times cheaper than paper or cardboard).

Alternatives to plastic packaging

Where it can be used considering the type of content, paper or cardboard is a light, reasonably priced, versatile and recyclable type of packaging. There are also other alternatives available.[5] Green PE is a plastic made of sugar cane ethanol which is carbon neutral and 100% reusable. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) is made of 100% recyclable plastic waste, sometimes used in combination with D2W to ensure biodegradability within 12 to 24 months. Also corn starch is used, combined with modified biopolymers, to create a 100% organic compostable plastic. Changing to a plastic free alternative is not always easy. Even products certified with the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) label are still allowed to be sent in plastic: that is how hard transferring to different packaging can be.[6]

Why companies strive to use plastic alternatives

Still, reasons besides the environmental benefits stimulate the change to alternative packaging, the most important of which is the company image. Consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the environment and tend to choose companies with the same core values.[7] American research concluded that 67% of consumers include packaging in their choice of product: they were persuaded by environmental friendliness in addition to the luxurious look and feel of paper or cardboard and their ability to reuse the packaging.[8] Other research shows that 53% of consumers is willing to pay more for green products and packaging.[9]

Pioneers leading the change

A lot of companies have taken the lead in packaging their products plastic free. Dutch supermarket chain Eko-Plaza aims to package her entire assortment of products plastic free.[10] Computer giant Dell was the first to use bamboo as her packaging.[11] Ikea wishes to be entirely plastic free by 2030.[12] And the English company Woolcool developed a high quality packaging of 100% sheep wool.[13] The fashion and textile sector uses about 180 billion plastic bags each year.[14] The company TIPA decided to provide an alternative: they developed completely compostable packaging in all shapes and sizes specifically for this sector.[15] One example is an alternative for a plastic clothing bag used at textile cleaning companies.[16]

ORGANIXtex: the alternative to plastic clothing bag

German company Hawo also created a clothing bag made from a plastic free alternative, specifically suited for textile cleaners and laundries: ORGANIXtex.[17] The clothing bag is 100% protective for its content, organic, and compostable. Protected against moisture and dust but also against physical contact and transport, clothing remains 100% hygienically protected in this bag. After use, consumers can put the bag with their compost waste. The bags are suited for all types of packaging machines, but Hawo also created her own (standing as well as hanging) packaging machine for optimal hygienic packaging at the exactly right size in order to further minimize waste.

[1] Marian Liu, “Great Pacific Garbage Patch now three times the size of France”, CNN,

[2] Laura Parker, “Here’s how much plastic trash is littering the earth”, National Geographic,

[3] DHL, “Why adopting green packaging makes good business sense”,

[4] Eco-tex, “Verpakkingen biologische kleding”,

[5] See f.e. Weavable, “What types of packaging materials are there”,

[6] Eco-tex, “Verpakkingen biologische kleding”,

[7] See f.e. Weavable, “Why the costs of sustainable packaging in fashion is truly worth it”,

[8] Ipsos, “Most Americans say that the design of a product’s packaging often influences their purchase decisions”,

[9] See f.e. Weavable, “Why the costs of sustainable packaging in fashion is truly worth it”,

[10] Ekoplaza,

[11] DHL, “Why adopting green packaging makes good business sense”,

[12] Ikea, “Wat doet IKEA op het gebied van duurzaamheid?”,

[13] Zie bijv.

[14] TIPA,

[15] Ibid.

[16] TIPA,

[17] Zie Een video over de kledingzak is te vinden op youtube: