Is LDPE a Sustainable Solution for Secondary Personal Care Packaging?

Posted on January 20 2016 by Jim Campbell

iStock_000031946112_blog.jpgSustainability has been a buzzword for years, and is largely based on identifying the “best” solution. In secondary packaging, the two most prominent options are fiber-based products (i.e., chipboard and corrugate) and resin-based options (i.e., LDPE films).

For producers and retailers of personal care products, Low Density Polyethylene film (LDPE) is the most sustainable way to package goods throughout the product lifecycle, including secondary packaging.

Lifecycle Costs

Compared to paper products, distributing LDPE films and resins is a much more efficient process when you look at it holistically. Chipboard or corrugate, which originate from trees or recycled paper, require a significant amount of energy and water to produce them. The same is true when transporting the packaging from the paper mill to the point of use. In addition, depending on the packaging, chipboard and corrugate materials can require as many as seven times as many trucks for transport as its LDPE counterpart.

LDPE derived from ethylene gas is a byproduct of natural gas. The process of using ethylene to create goods is not only considered a sustainable practice, but good for the U.S. economy given the vast amounts of this natural resource.


Another advantage of LDPE is its recyclability. As consumers and manufacturers are making every effort to limit the amount of matter placed into landfills, a hard look is being given to the recyclability of packaging material and, in this case, secondary packaging.

This growing trend has been a boon for blown film manufacturers as LDPE is the most sustainable secondary packaging material out there. Why? LDPE is a wonderfully easy product to recycle – so much so that the scrap material can be sold to recyclers.

Recycled resins find their way into a number of everyday products ranging from carpet and clothing to playground equipment and poly deck boards. Without the benefit of using post-consumer/post-industrial scrap, these products (and others) would be cost prohibitive for consumers at large. The use and recycling of LDPE has a cascading positive effect on society.

LDPE Alignment with Personal Care Packaging Formats

Personal care items packaged in a wide variety of primary packaging formats, including bottles, tubes and jars, benefit from LDPE shrink-bundled secondary packaging. LDPE is an economical and sustainable means of unitizing multiple items to aid in retail distribution and shelving. In certain instances, LDPE eliminates a shipper altogether, which creates a sustainable secondary packaging option.

Taken in total, LDPE films are largely overlooked as a sustainable packaging solution. However, when compared to conventional options in terms of lifecycle costs, recyclability and distribution, LDPE is truly the best solution.

Are you looking for a sustainable secondary packaging material solution? Contact us today to learn how LDPE can provide significant advantages to your next project.

This entry was posted in LDPE, Personal Care Products