Quality & Environment
Network Packaging is an ISO 9001:2015 accredited business. All of our systems and processes are consistent, reliable and fit for purpose. We also listen to customer feedback and respond proactively, so you can rest assured you're in safe hands.
Packaging and the Environment
Packaging is an essential commodity for many businesses, but it is important to consider ways to minimise the impact that packaging can have on the environment, without compromising on product protection.
Network Packaging, as part of the Macfarlane Packaging group, adheres to the three Rs:
Macfarlane and our suppliers are constantly improving our techniques and technologies to create more efficient packaging products.
Re-using a product to prolong its life often makes good sense and many packaging products are designed to be utilised many times before they reach the end of their usable life. However, it is not always the most practical or best environmental option based on life cycle thinking. Therefore, recycling can be a better option over reuse.
Recycle (or Compost)
If a product can't be reused, it should be recycled as this can save energy, reduce rubbish in landfill sites and cut the cost of waste disposal.
To view the full Network Packaging environmental policy, please click here to visit our main company website.
Airsac and the environment - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Airsac® made from?
All Airsac® packaging is made from Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). The film used to make Airsac is classed as a category 4 plastic under ASTM International standards. LDPE is considered less toxic than other plastics, and safe for use.
2. Can Airsac® be reused?
Yes, Airsac® can be reused. Airsac® retains air within its chambers, so it can be used multiple times and is therefore not classed as a single-use plastic.
3. Can Airsac® be recycled?
Yes, Airsac® can be recycled.
4. How can Airsac® be recycled?
Currently, category 4 plastics (like Airsac®) are not widely recycled at kerbside. Due to this, we advise that end users first check with their local authority to see what their recycling options are, as they are changing and advancing all the time.
If kerbside or local authority recycling isn’t an option, the easiest step is to use a return-to-store recycling facility at a large supermarket. These are widely available across the UK and they accept category 4 (LPDE) plastics. This is because most plastic carrier bags are made from LDPE film.
The end user can visit recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/plastic-film and enter their postcode to locate their nearest recycling point.
Remember, all Airsac® packaging must be deflated before it’s recycled. To deflate, the end user can simply cut across the chambers using a pair of household scissors
5. Why is Airsac® considered environmentally friendly?
Airsac® packaging has been designed to ensure its environmentally-friendly.
• Before use, Airsac® is shipped and stored flat, this means it takes up less room and requires fewer trucks to transport and less fuel. This in turn reduces CO2 emissions.
• Airsac® helps eliminate damages in transit and therefore reduces returns. So, as goods are delivered in one piece, Airsac® helps reduce the fuel used and emissions created by reverse logistics.
• When in use, Airsac® is also 98% air and just 2% film, so it’s incredibly lightweight – another bonus when it comes to minimising the impact of transport.
• Airsac® can be used more than once as it retains air. This means it can be used for between 6 – 9 months before it deflates. When a chamber bursts, Airsac® has reached the end of its life.
• Once Airsac® is at the end of life, it can be recycled (see question 4)
6. Do you offer any Airsac® products made from biodegradable films?
No. Whilst biodegradable plastics are available, they are a bit misleading and not as environmentally friendly as you may think.
First, they require specific conditions (such as consistent temperatures) to break down, which isn’t achievable if the film ends up in landfill or the ocean.
Secondly, when biodegradable plastics do break down, they turn into smaller fragments of micro-plastic. Therefore, they can be detrimental to the environment.
In fact, in November 2017, 150 organisations including the WWF, Greenpeace and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation were signatories to the “New Plastics Economy” consortium, which is calling for a ban on the biodegradability of plastics because of their negative environmental effects.
Please note, this does not refer to compostable plastics, which differ from biodegradable plastics.
7. Does Airsac® contain any recycled material?
Currently, Airsac® packaging does not contain any recycled material. This is something we are investigating with our factory for the future. Making sure Airsac® provides optimum protection is our priority and therefore any changes to the material Airsac® is made from will be thoroughly studied, so you will get the same great protection you’re used to.
8. Can waste Airsac® material be returned to Network Packaging or Macfarlane Packaging for recycling?
Currently, we do not offer an Airsac® recycling service. Recycling services are something we’re investigating as part of our group’s wider environmental strategy.