In the year 2020, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the idea of going Green and adopting sustainability practices in business becomes more evident and sinks much deeper.
For Packaging Industry, words like “Sustainability,” “eco-friendly,” and “green” should not be just some fancy words but they should be the ideologies driving the industry forward. The first step in right direction should be ‘Rethinking Packaging’
A lot of waste is being generated by Packaging Industry, which is raising serious environmental concerns and as this waste is being generated at multiple points and not just during manufacturing, it is making things more troublesome. So, what can a resource-intensive sector in an increasingly resource-constrained world can do to reduce adding burden on the environment?
The answer is to move towards sustainable packaging. This will not only create an opportunity for the industry by adding value to the product but also drive home customer loyalty.
The Future demands, lesser use of plastic as packaging material and more usage of sustainable packaging material and the demand will keep rising. According to Smithers Pira survey report, 79% of global packaging value chain players said, consumers increasing awareness towards environmental issues and advances in material technology is steering the growth of sustainable packaging.
Horizon Media study establishes that 81% of millennials expect companies to make commitments towards corporate sustainability. The same study also said, 66% of consumers are ready to pay more for products which are committed to sustainability packaging.
A study conducted by delivery management company Whistl presented that 75% of British consumers want online retailers to use eco-friendly materials.
An Asian Pulp paper study published few years back also reinforced the idea of growing demand in sustainable packaging sector. It also cited that packaging waste is the major environmental concern and shoppers are more inclined to support brands which are using sustainable packaging and are willing to pay between 21% -31% more for a product which is packaged sustainably.
The world economies and leading brands have understood that sustainable practices and packaging is good business. They concur on the point that for economic growth and development they have to reduce their ecological footprints by reformulating the ways by which they produce and use, ‘GOODS & RESOURCES’
It has been forecasted that the market for sustainable packaging will continue to grow at the rate of 5.3% until at least 2026 and by far Europe has been leading the way in sustainable packaging with Australia, New Zealand, and Canada being close behind.
Singapore is also stepping up on the sustainability ladder quickly. The United States is falling behind due to its per capita consumption of packaging, which is highest in the world. But it is slowly picking pace and making a consistent progress.
In the race of being sustainability contributors, leading brands, companies and restaurants are also not falling behind.
In 2017, Walmart announced their “zero waste” initiative. Coca Cola stated that by 2030 they will collect and recycle one bottle or can for each one they sell. Bottles made from mushrooms and seaweed is being developed by Pepsico and Coca-Cola and Nestlè Waters are running an initiative to produce water bottles from wood products, like cardboard and sawdust.
L’Oréal USA is using paper bottles being developed from recycling for its new line of body-care products called Seed Phytonutrients.
McDonald’s also announced that by 2025, they are committed to have 100% of their guest packaging made from renewable, recycled, or certified sources.
In the recent time, following the green trend, many companies innovated such products which either encourages the reuse of packaging material, or are being made from reusable or biodegradable materials. In food packaging sector also, many of the marketed innovations are claiming to be either sustainable by their resources (bio-based) or by their end of life (biodegradable).
An edible biodegradable packaging film made of casein is being developed by USDA which can be wrapped around food like meat, bread or cheese to prevent spoiling. Agricultural waste can also be used to develop sustainable packaging, the developed material will be recyclable, completely compostable, and can even be burned with minimal carbon footprint.
To keep perishables chilled during shipping, insulated packaging can be created from jute and material recycled from burlap bags which is compostable.
By recycling the corrugated cardboard and newspapers, Paper bottles can be made. Such bottles are already popularly being used for products like Wine, Pet food and Protein powders.
Compostable containers can serve as a sustainable packaging material choice to the Food service Industry. Gas tight pressed board trays can also be used as a substitute to plastic trays for storing the chilled food.
All of these innovations made it evidently clear that growing environmental concerns and rising concerns of all the stakeholders are driving companies forward into a new way of thinking about sustainable packaging and its commitment to reducing the human footprint on the environment and community health.
To achieve the goal of developing a Sustainable Packaging, we have to make sure;
Firstly, our design has to be recyclable either at our end or at the end of the consumer.
Secondly, make sure that the raw material sourced, is produced through sustainable & environmental friendly process. The key to a great design is right sourcing.
Third, use of hazardous substances should be avoided.
Remember, a thoughtful design will reduce the negative impact a product cast on the environment. A small step can lead us all to a long way. Multiple benefits can be achieved ranging from air or ocean freight savings to light weight packaging and better space utilization, improved product protection to unit cost reduction.
The benefits of sustainable packaging do not end here. It improves brand image and competitive advantage. Minimizes carbon footprints and improves energy efficiency.
If you are also thinking of climbing onto this bandwagon and making your business more sustainable, think about circular economy, choosing the right supplier and right packaging options which will reduce environmental impact and support sustainability.
To help you achieve the stage of creating your own closed loop system or to match you with the right supplier or manufacturing partner, Team Fasiculus, is available at your service.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +971 50 281 4039,
+44 7793 267138, +91 999 904 4534 and become sustainable.