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Coupled with the rise of consumerism and a disposable, wasteful culture, the world has a packaging problem. Packaging adds to the cost of production, as well as the shipping cost from factories to store, both of which are borne by the consumer. Even greater than this is the environmental cost and for two reasons: the production of packaging causes pollution and depletes resources, while the packaging also has to be disposed of.

The bulk of consumer waste is thrown into landfill, filling up these finite spaces and causing numerous environmental problems in the form of dust; ground water and soil contamination, noise, and unpleasant odours. It is estimated that in the United States alone approximately 30% of landfill waste is discarded packaging.

In response, companies have been switching to sustainable packaging that is either biodegradable or, at the least, recyclable. Now, consumers are leaning towards products that offer eco-friendly packaging, less packaging, or both. Below we give five companies a gold – or should it be green? – star for their efforts to minimise the packaging used for their products.

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