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Guide To Sustainable Packaging Materials 2020

Sustainable Packaging Materials On Yellow And Green Background

It’s a fact: from food to face masks, pretty much all physical products need some kind of packaging. Whether it’s purely for postage purposes, or because your product needs protection, packaging is hugely important in the retail sector. Packaging is important for a whole host of reasons – from increasing awareness of your brand to product recognition to ensuring safe delivery of your goods. But as concern about climate change gains traction, so do worries about packaging – from the type of materials to the amount of packaging in circulation. But there are plenty of comparatively sustainable packaging materials out there that can improve your business’s eco-friendly credentials.

As the UK’s leading packaging supplier, we know a thing or two about sustainable packaging materials. Here’s our guide to keep you up to date with the latest trends and types of eco-friendly packaging materials you can use in your business.

Sustainable Packaging Materials – What’s Best?

Glass Packaging

Glass is typically considered the most eco friendly material out there. As well as being fully recyclable, it’s made from abundant natural materials such as sand. This means it doesn’t use up our precious natural resources in production. Consumers love glass, too, because it has a premium look and feel that’s difficult to replicate with other materials.

But while there are lots of benefits to glass, it can be less sustainable than other packaging materials when it comes to despatching and transporting your goods. Glass is typically heavier than other packaging materials, so it costs more to send. This also means you can send fewer units in one journey – and more journeys mean a higher carbon footprint.

Eco-Friendly Plastic Packaging

Plastic has a pretty bad reputation as a sustainable packaging material, but if you use the right kind of plastic, it can be a great choice for a whole host of products. Eco-friendly plastics like recycled PET or post-consumer recycled HDPE offer all the benefits of regular plastic, but are made from products that have already been used and recycled. That means we use fewer virgin plastics, which has a great environmental impact.

Both PET and HDPE plastic are strong and shatterproof, so you can transport your goods without risking breakages. PET in particular is a great alternative to glass packaging, as it’s totally transparent and has a premium finish. Both plastic types are also lightweight, so you can transport more items in a single shipment. This will help you reduce your carbon footprint. Best of all, both rPET and PCR HDPE are fully recyclable time after time!

Aluminium Packaging

Shiny aluminium offers a totally different look to both glass and plastic – and it’s a great eco-friendly packaging material. Aluminium retains its quality and integrity no matter how many times it’s been recycled. This makes it a great option for high-end products that look great in shiny aluminium jars or bottles.

Like plastic, aluminium is lighter than glass, so it offers cheaper, more eco-friendly despatch processes. However, also like plastic, the processes involved in creating aluminium from scratch can be harmful to the environment. It’s important to be mindful of where your packaging materials come from before you buy.

Which Is The Best Option For My Product Or Brand?

At Ampulla, we offer all three of these eco-friendly packaging materials in a huge range of forms so you can pick the option that works best for you. We’ve got years of experience in the packaging industry, so when it comes to choosing your perfect sustainable packaging, we’d recommend taking a few things into consideration.

First, your brand aesthetic. It’s important to ensure your packaging matches your brand look, whether that’s sleek and minimalist or bright and colourful. Our recycled PET bottles are available in a range of colours as well as classic clear, so shop our range here. For vintage or retro style brands, glass may be the best fit.

Affordability is also key. It’s not just about the price per packaging unit – you should also take despatch costs into account. Glass is heavier than aluminium and plastic, so it’s more expensive to post.

Other things to consider include ease of labelling, opacity of your bottle or jar, the type of dispenser cap you want to use and whether your product needs additional protection from light or air. No matter what you need from your sustainable packaging materials, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in our extensive eco-friendly range.

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Why Choose Eco Friendly Cosmetic Packaging?

eco friendly cosmetic packaging

Sustainability is a pretty big deal right now. Google searches hit peak popularity in February 2020, and with global warming an ever-increasing threat, it’s never been more important to consider the environmental impact of our day-to-day choices. That’s why more and more beauty brands are opting for eco friendly cosmetic packaging to store, sell and supply their products.

But it’s not just important for the environment. As consumers, influencers and make-up gurus become more eco-aware, eco friendly cosmetic packaging is increasingly becoming a selling point.

What eco friendly packaging choices are available for beauty brands?

Well, it depends on your product, but there are loads of options to choose from. At Ampulla, we’re always looking to expand our range to offer you the best eco friendly packaging at affordable prices. We’ve listed some of our bestselling choices below.

Post Consumer Recycled Bottles

PCR bottles give you all the benefits of plastic – they’re shatterproof, lightweight and durable – but with an eco-friendly twist. As the name suggests, these bottles are made of plastic that have been recycled – so making use of these strong, versatile bottles can significantly reduce your use of virgin plastics.

The lightweight nature of these bottles also lowers your carbon footprint when you’re dispatching your goods. Deliver more orders over fewer journeys – and save money on your P&P, too!

We offer a chemical-resistant HDPE option (in 30ml – 1 litre capacities) or a clear PET option, so you can pick the bottle that’s best for your needs.

Glass Cosmetic Jars

For classic eco friendly cosmetic packaging, glass is second to none. Made from abundant natural raw materials such as sand, it doesn’t use up precious natural resources. It’s also already widely recycled, and because glass waste melts at a lower temperature than raw materials, recycling glass can also help save energy.

But it’s not just an eco-friendly choice. Glass offers a premium look for your cosmetics and makeup, so it’s a great way to draw your customers to your products. It’s also nonreactive with many substances, so it’s ideal for preserving your goods.

At Ampulla, you can buy glass cosmetic packaging in a variety of colours and sizes. Take a look at our range below.

Shop Glass Cosmetic Packaging​

60ml amber glass cosmetic jar - eco friendly cosmetic packaging 50ml clear glass cosmetic bottle 500ml Le Parfait Jar
60ml Amber Glass Jar 50ml Clear Glass Spray Bottle 30ml Glass Jar & Frosted Lid

Aluminium Jars

Aluminium is one of the most sustainable recyclable materials available. In fact, almost three quarters of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today. Because of this, it’s a great option for cosmetic brands looking to build their eco credentials.

The shiny silver jar body is fab for luxury cosmetics, and it’s easy to personalise by adding a label to the side of the jar. The opaque nature of aluminium also prevents reaction of your product with light or other external factors.

Our aluminium jars come with matching lined lids for maximum product protection. They’re available in sizes up to 150ml!

Shop Glass Cosmetic Packaging​

200ml aluminium spray bottle - eco friendly cosmetic packaging 75ml aluminium cosmetic jar 300ml Aluminium Bottle
200ml Aluminium Spray Bottle 75ml Aluminium Jar 300ml Aluminium Bottle

As sustainability and climate change come increasingly into focus, eco friendly cosmetic packaging is going to be vital so beauty brands can meet consumers’ needs. For more eco friendly cosmetic bottles and jars, shop the range at Ampulla.

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The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last

Have you always fancied yourself as the type of person that makes jam at home? Or asked yourself “how long does homemade jam last?” Then read on… It’s jam season here in the UK! Between June and October every year, British fruit is at is ripest and most sweet, making it the perfect time for turning into jam.

How To Make Jam At Home

Sure you could head down to your local supermarket and pick up a pot of ready made jam, but where’s the fun in that? Making jam at home is fairly simple AND you can use your imagination to tailor your preserves to your own specific flavour palette. Like your jams more tangy and sour? Not a problem if you’re making them at home! The process of jam making is fairly similar no matter what fruit (or fruits) you end up using.

Step 1: Clean your jars. In order to create jam that is food safe, the jars that you use to store it must be totally clean in order to stop any bacteria from flourishing. This is especially true when storing jam, as bacteria loves to feed off the sugar! The easiest way to sterilise glass jars is to rinse them in hot soapy water and then put them upside down in the oven at 140 degrees Celsius until thy are dry. Make sure to remove any rubber linings that sit within the jar as these will melt or look misshapen once they emerge from the oven!

Step 2: Wash (and peel if necessary) your fruit and place it in a pan alongside jam sugar, in equal quantities. Keep it at a low heat and stir until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. If your fruit doesn’t have a lot of moisture, you may need to add some boiling water to loosen it. Keeping the mixture at a low temperature is very important, as you do not want the sugar to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Depending on what fruit you are using, you may need to add pectin (a thickening agent) to your mixture in order for your jam to have the right consistency to be able to set properly.

Step 3: Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture up to a rapid boil for 3-5 minutes until the jam reaches a stage where it can set. You will be able to know when to take it off the heat when you see the mixture thicken and boil more slowly.

Step 4: Test if your jam is ready to set. You can do this by taking the mixture off the heat and spooning a small bit of it onto a cold plate or saucer. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then push your finger into it. If the jam ‘wrinkles’, it’s ready to be put into jars to set! If it’s not quite there yet, just put it back onto the heat for slightly longer and keep testing it until it’s ready.

Step 5: Spoon your jam into your sterilised jars and place airtight lids on them whilst the jam is still hot. As the jam cools and sets, it will dip the seal of the jars to create a pressurised atmosphere inside. That’s why you get a distinctive ‘pop’ when you open a jam jar for the first time!

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last?

Homemade fruit preserves can last for up to year or even longer if it is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. However the flavour and texture of your jam will start to deteriorate after around 6 months, even if you keep them tightly sealed. Once you’ve opened a jar of jam, then you will need to move it into the fridge and consume it all within 3 months ideally.

How To Make Your Jam Last Longer

  • Process your jars and jam in a hot water bath (known as canning) to reduce the risk of bacteria growing.
  • Use an equal amount of sugar to fruit in your recipe. Sugar is a preservative, so the more you use, the longer your jam will last!

It is difficult to give a definitive answer to this question, so you will have to use your best judgement and common sense when you’re deciding to eat your homemade jam. If the jam is discoloured, has visible mouldy patches or a strange smell, then it is best to leave it!

The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

The Vegetarian Society has a fantastic, comprehensive list of all the fruit and vegetables that are in season each month, if you’re undecided on which flavours to use in your jam. If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not take a look at 5 of the best, most luxurious homemade jam recipes we’ve found online?

1. Cherry & Cinnamon Jam

This would be a great jam to make now and keep for Christmas, as the cinnamon flavours are very evocative of the festive time of year! This jam would taste incredible if it was spread into a chocolate cake…

Ingredients: cherries, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, sugar and pectin.

Find the full recipe at BBC Good Food.

2. Blackcurrant Jam

Blackcurrants are one of this country’s greatest fruits – so spare a thought for all the poor Americans that have never tasted them before (we didn’t find this out until recently – who knew?)! Blackcurrant jam tastes incredible when spread on a scone alongside clotted cream, or on a big slab of doorstep toast with lashings of butter.

Ingredients: blackcurrants and sugar.

Find the full recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen.

3. Strawberry, Long Pepper & Lime Jam

Long Pepper (sometimes known as Indian Long Pepper or pippali) has a very similar to black pepper, but is more floral like cinnamon. It gives a good kick to this strawberry  and lime jam recipe! Spread it on your morning toast to wake you up on weekday mornings.

Ingredients: strawberries, jam sugar, salt, limes and long pepper.

Find the full recipe at Great British Chefs.

4. Fig Jam Scented With Earl Grey Tea & Star Anise

This is one to save for your poshest guests. The combination of these luxurious, rich ingredients makes this preserve ideal for serving alongside sandwiches and scones for afternoon tea. You could even give out pots of this jam to your friends and family, as it makes a thoughtful, yet inexpensive birthday or Christmas gift!

Ingredients: earl grey teabags, ripe figs, jam sugar, lemon juice and ground star anise.

Find the full recipe at Delicious Magazine.

5.  Plum & Mulled Wine Jam

This is another jam that will go down a treat at Christmas. This jam tastes lovely when used sparingly on toast or when it’s spread into a stacked sponge cake.

Ingredients: red plums, red wine, mulled wine spices, (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc), orange zest and granulated sugar.

Find the full recipe at The Women’s Institute.

Glass Jam Jars For Home Bakers

Here at Ampulla, we specialise in providing high quality packaging for big businesses and individuals alike. Thanks to our flexible ordering system, you can order as little as one unit of each of our products! Our tired pricing means that regardless of the quantity you have ordered, you will be getting the best possible value for money. If you’re looking for glass jam jars, then you’ve come to the right place.

glass jam jars

Our range of glass jam jars encompasses capacities from 30ml up to 500ml, which all come with the option of adding colourful twist off lids. We’ve got jam jars in all shapes and sizes, that are perfect fro use by both home bakers and big businesses. Check out our full range today.

Liked our guide to jam making? Then we think that you would also like our guide to brewing your own cider!