Climate change has been a hot topic in the headlines and consumers are taking note. As the effects of climate change become more obvious, consumers of all demographics are thinking about how they can do their part by buying products that are sustainable.
Globally, one of the major trends in packaging is a shift towards sustainable packaging, consumers, specially millennials are more informed and committed to supporting brands that reflect sustainable values.
Keep in mind that there are benefits to going green other than reduced impact on the environment. There are other practical reasons that directly impact your bottom line and your relationship with customers.
Here’s why your company should use eco-friendly and sustainable packaging:
Many governments have stringent packaging laws, so being eco-friendly and sustainable will help you stay compliant, and can save you money. While sustainable packaging may not be the law everywhere, many jurisdictions favor items that follow green packaging.
Some companies have concerns about going eco-friendly because they’re concerned sustainable packaging is more expensive. However, the cost of sustainable packaging can be on par with the cost of traditional packaging materials that are less environmentally-friendly. Also, reducing the number of materials you use can lower your shipping costs, in turn making the cost of your packaging cheaper. Recyclable materials can also reduce your packaging costs.
The opportunity cost of not going sustainable is quite expensive as green packaging drives sales, revenue, and brand loyalty. A Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility found packaging found that:
55% of online consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that are committed to environmental impact.
So, Are you ready to make a positive environmental impact?
Reusable packaging is a form of packaging that can be resealed and or reused. For example, a zip-lock bag used for resealing food items and preserving their shelf life or a glass bottle that can be refilled and re-used in the future. While the food industry has been quick to adopt reusable packaging as it extends the shelf life of food products, there is an opportunity for clothing companies to make the shift to reusable packaging. Several clothing manufacturers are using materials such as card stock and re-sealable bags.
Biodegradable packaging refers to packaging composed of materials that can be broken down and then be returned to the earth. Materials can be classified as biodegradable if they can break down within a year after they’re disposed. Examples of biodegradable materials are cardboard and certain plastics that are made from petrochemicals.
This form of eco-friendly packaging is composed of materials that can easily be repurposed after use. The most popular examples of this type of packaging are paper, glass, and metal.
Naturally sourced raw materials
Materials such as bioplastics fall into this category. Bioplastics are a form of plastic created with natural materials such as corn starch or polylactide acid (which comes from plant-based sources such as corn starch and sugar cane). These forms of plastic are better for the environment for several reasons. Most importantly, bioplastics create less carbon dioxide gas than traditional plastics when they decompose. Considering carbon dioxide’s well-documented effect on climate change, using this form of plastic is a smart way to keep your brand eco-friendly. Polylactide acid has several similar attributes to traditional plastic and is already being used by companies to create products such as medical devices and food containers.
Soy inks for printing
The first benefit of using soy ink is that it comes from soybeans, which are a renewable source and available at a low cost. The other benefit is that it takes less energy to produce soy ink than it does to produce most other types of ink. Half of the soybeans being produced in America don’t even require irrigation. This all makes a significant difference in your efforts in creating an eco-friendly organization.
While the official guidelines for sustainable packaging vary from region to region, by considering any of the above mentioned types of packaging for your products you can do your part in curbing environmental waste. Consumers care about corporate social responsibility and a key way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to the environment is to start with the first thing consumers see when they pick up your product: your packaging.