As the environment becomes increasingly polluted and more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, companies must start finding ways to cut down on their carbon footprint. This is especially true with sustainable packaging. As of now, over 91% of packaging waste is sent to landfills. As the earth’s resources diminish, companies must strive toward a greener future. There are many things in which companies can make significant changes in their packaging habits without damaging their profits.
In the past, eco-friendly activities were relatively innovative in the business world. Several years ago, few niche or forward-thinking enterprises promoted environmental consciousness. Today, however, engaging in sustainable practices is no more a matter of choice; they are fast becoming the standard.
What Is Sustainable Packaging?
To put it another way, sustainable packaging does not contribute to the further depletion of natural resources by following these criteria:
- Sustainable packaging is about using renewable materials or choosing recycled paper for your packaging over conventional plastic. Also, it’s about packaging that meets the needs of both the customer and the planet.
- The materials used must be sourced, manufactured, and transported without reliance on unsustainable practices.
- Sustainable packaging never compromises its materials being made from recycled sources.
- The production process uses clean technologies and best practices.
- Its physical appearance is designed to make the best use of its materials.
In a nutshell, sustainable packaging can happen in several ways:
- Ingredients: The package should use 100% raw or recycled materials
- Production process: The process should be environmentally friendly and clean.
- Reusability: The packaging should have a minimal environmental impact and encourage recycling or reuse.
Benefits of Sustainable Packaging
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing environmentally friendly packaging options and the various approaches that go along with them, but what are some of the benefits of using eco-friendly packaging materials?
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of eco-friendly packaging:
1. Expand Customer Base and Boost Brand Loyalty
Consumers are becoming more conscious of the impact that their purchases have on the environment. By incorporating environmentally friendly features into your product’s packaging and marketing materials, you’re building your brand in a way that makes you more attractive to potential consumers while also making you a more desirable brand among current customers. As a result, you can expand your customer base while boosting your brand loyalty at the same time.
2. More Efficient Storage
Eco-friendly products are typically made with more lightweight materials than their conventional counterparts. As a result, they require less space when stored and shipped, making them an ideal choice for companies that need to minimize storage and shipping costs. This can be especially important for smaller businesses that don’t typically have access to large warehouses for their products. Instead, they can store their products in smaller facilities or even their homes until they’re ready to be shipped.
3. Lower Shipping Expenses
Since many eco-friendly products are made from recycled materials, they require fewer resources to manufacture and transport than their traditional counterparts. This means they often cost you less to ship your products to consumers. This can make a significant difference for businesses that regularly ship larger quantities of products. In addition, since many of the materials used to make these products are recyclable, you can also save on disposal costs.
Tips For Sustainable Packaging Strategies
1. Educate About Disposal and Recycling Best Practices
Consumers are more likely to recycle items when they know how to do so correctly. Provide clear instructions for consumers about how and when to recycle your product’s packaging and containers. Also, make clear how to dispose of the packaging when it’s no longer needed so that consumers don’t have to throw it out with the trash. This will encourage more recycling and lower the amount of waste in landfills.
It also gives your company more credibility among environmentally conscious consumers. This will show your customers that you value their commitment to sustainability while encouraging them to do more to recycle in the future.
2. Use Recycled Packaging Materials
Using recycled packaging materials is most important in the food industry, as it is one of the most environmentally damaging sectors. Up to 40% of household waste is made up of food packaging. Due to this, manufacturers must reduce the use of non-renewable resources for the production of packaging materials. Reusing and reusing packaging materials is a great way to help the environment, as the packaging is reused and no new materials need to be manufactured. In addition, when choosing boxes, mailers, or containers, you should consider using recycled materials.
3. Use Plant-Based Packaging
Alternatives such as starch-based plastics or sugar cane bags instead of petroleum-based plastics. Bioplastics made of starches can be recycled many times without losing their properties, and they do not contain harmful chemicals harmful to the environment. They can also be made from renewable sources like corn and sugar beet. They break down naturally and do not harm the environment. Using such materials for your products will limit the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the air and lower your business’s carbon footprint.
4. Edible Packaging
Edible packaging is another solution to consider to reduce the use of non-recyclable materials and reduce waste in landfills. Products such as cereal bars and cookies have already been successfully packaged, and the trend is gaining popularity with consumers worldwide. Consumers prefer edible alternatives to regular packing, as they cannot harm the environment and be easily disposed of.
5. Plantable Packaging
Plantable packaging is a growing trend that many manufacturers and retailers have started to adopt to reduce their environmental impact. A plantable package has seeds that you can plant to grow. When a consumer uses the product, he or she produces the package into the ground, and it grows into a plant or tree. Plantable packaging is a great way to store small items like jewelry or cosmetics. You can also use them as fillers or as packaging for other small things.
6. Partner With Sustainable Manufacturers
Packaging is an essential part of transport and logistics. The sustainable packaging market is expected to grow to $385.34 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.3%. While many companies are starting to focus on sustainable packaging, they aren’t always aware of how they can partner with manufacturers focusing on sustainability. Here’s how you can work with sustainable manufacturers to reduce your business’s environmental impact.
- Research sustainable manufacturing options before you decide who to partner with
- Look for companies that are certified by ISO14001 or other environmental standards that guarantee high quality and sustainability.
- Talk to other businesses in the area to see which manufacturers are their suppliers and find out which companies they use the most.
- Check how the manufacturer handles waste disposal and recycling. Most manufacturing companies produce many waste materials during production that is usually sent to a landfill for disposal.
All businesses should strive to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible by using more sustainable practices in their packaging and manufacturing processes. By following these tips, companies can significantly reduce their ecological footprint and be good stewards of the environment simultaneously.