A Look at Product Packaging, A Bigger Contributor to Global Waste Than Plastic Straws

It seems that ever since 2011 when the movement to ban straws gained worldwide attention there has been a strong focus to eliminate all single-use items from our day-to-day lives. While reducing waste is always a good idea, it seems the focus on such a small item might not be the most prudent approach to a global campaign, when our mailboxes are overflowing with packaging waste on a weekly (if not on a daily) basis. It’s easy to see how the waste that piles up at home trumps the amount of waste you’d get with a few straws.

Canadian strides to ban single-use plastics

In the last few months, Canada has been leading the charge with a campaign and movement to ban single-use plastics nationwide by 2025. This includes regulations over the next few years to curb not only the use of but also the manufacturing and sale of specific single-use plastics. On the surface, this sounds like a major win for the country that will make a massive difference in waste reduction, but upon further inspection it seems that the focus may be too small. Case in point, in an article released by The Guardian, plastic straws and stir sticks grabbed headlines, and public sentimate, but does banning straws and stir sticks really make an impact on reducing single use plastics  in Canada?


 Other news outlets have shed light on the movement recently including the Toronto Sun which stated that “Based on 2019 data, 15.5 billion plastic grocery bags a year were being sold in Canada, 5.8 billion straws, 4.5 billion pieces of cutlery, 3 billion stir sticks, 805 million takeout containers and 183 million six-pack rings,” and “by December 2025, all designated single use plastics will be prohibited, including manufacturing, importing and sales for export.”


With a strong commitment to prohibit single use plastics and staggering statistics regarding the usage of these products, it’s clear this will make a difference. Still, one could argue, why is the government focusing on such small contributors to plastic waste? Maybe this statistic from the same Toronto Sun article is one the government should be focusing on instead: “The six categories of single use plastics subject to the ban account for an estimated 160,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually, just 5% of the overall amount of 3.3 million tonnes of plastic waste.”

The elephant in the room - and in your mailbox

Consider how many straws you use in a year and then compare that to the amount of wasteful packaging you receive in the mail every week – namely polybags. Polybags are the go-to packaging for apparel and lightweight products for the eCommerce industry. While these bags drive down costs for the businesses who utilize them and are simple solutions to mailing light and less fragile items, they produce an overwhelming amount of plastic waste and the greenwashing surrounding the recyclability of polybags is laughable.

How you can make a difference

Awareness is the first step in making eco-friendly business decisions. Simply taking the time to consider the amount of waste you have in your own non-recyclable kitchen trash can on a regular basis can help shine a light on why this is so important. Things like polybags can be easily addressed with paper-based packaging. If governments like the Canadian one who are choosing to make a stand chose to focus on making a change with polybags over smaller contributors like plastic straws, the impact would be much more impressive and long-lasting.


At Best Mailer, we are proud to run a sustainable business and believe in the power of recycling and environmental responsibility. As such, our mailers are 100% paper-based, 100% recyclable, and 100% compostable and our eco-friendly packaging is ideal for sustainable businesses who want to ship with confidence and conscience. The bottom line is this: not only is paper-based packaging easy for consumers to recycle and solve the problem of large contributions to waste with products like polybags but it is also the best choice for earth friendly brands who want to make a real difference.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

A Look at Product Packaging, A Bigger Contributor to Global Waste Than Plastic Straws

Sign Up for Exclusive Offers

Join our email list for promotions, special offers and tips on how to cut your packaging costs.

Contact us

44 South Bayles Ave., Ste. 205
Port Washington, NY 11050

Follow us

Copyright © 2020 Conformer Products, Inc.. All rights reserved. CONFORMER® is a registered trademark of Conformer Products, Inc.
U.S. Pat. Nos.: 8,162,204 : 8,215,537 : 8,684,259 : 8,215,619 : 8,215,345 : 9,352,879. Canadian Pat. Nos. 2,418,571: 2,554,473 : 2,641,639. Other Patents Pending.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Ready to Ship More For Less?
      Get 10% of your first order

      Subscribe to our newsletter and get 10% off your first order, plus stay updated on special offers, printing tips & more!

      * New customers only. Code will be emailed to the address you enter.

      Free "Complete Guide to eCommerce Packaging"

      Sign up for our email list and receive your free ebook.

      Hello, Neighbor!

      Just note that we can only send large orders to Canada. To get accurate shipping rates, please fill out a custom request or eh-mail us at