Packaging and the packaging industry are finally coming under the microscope for how eco-friendly their offerings are. The shift in focus of both consumers and retailers towards green products has led to a change in the way many companies are approaching sustainability. For the better. Sustainable packaging. Two words that don’t always go hand-in-hand. Packaging waste is a massive global problem, and one which your business probably doesn’t want to contribute to! So, knowing how to ‘keep it green’ in your packaging design is the key to being a more responsible eCommerce retailer. Sustainability is a growing focal point within discussions of Corporate Social Responsibility. So, sustainable packaging is one of the most actionable ways you can demonstrate your commitment.
Sustainability for a Better Future
Eco-friendly initiatives used to be quite novel in the business world. Several years ago, going green was something that only niche or forward-thinking companies would promote. Today, however, engaging in sustainable practices isn’t something that’s nice to do — it’s increasingly becoming the standard. Various organizations are calling for more collective, eco-friendly efforts to sustain the planet. The United Nations pointed out that should the world’s population reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050, we’d need the equivalent of almost three planets to sustain current lifestyles. Choosing Earth-friendly packaging supplies and processes will go a long way in minimizing the waste and pollution that end up in our landfills and oceans. To help you navigate the ins and outs of sustainable packaging in ecommerce, we’re covering what sustainable packaging is and how to implement it. You’ll also meet other ecommerce merchants that are doing a great job of going green.
Is Recycled Paper the Way Forward?
One good way of achieving sustainable packaging is by using recycled paper packaging. Recycled paper packaging employs paper products as their raw materials. The raw materials they use are basically extracted from the waste paper that is generated by the end users or the waste that has been created during the manufacturing of other products pertaining to paper packaging. It has several advantages such as it reduced the cost of paper packaging materials up to 40%. Paper is one such material that can be recycled almost 10 times for being reproduced as a completely new product and that can be employed in several applications as well. The rise in environmental concerns across the world and the surging need for reducing toxic emissions, recycled paper packaging is being incessantly used by the Personal Care, Healthcare, and Food and Beverages Industry.
Consumers are No Longer Mere Product Purchasers
Consumers are growing much more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchasing habits, especially online. According to a study by McKinsey, over 70% of customers were willing to pay a so-called ‘green premium’ for a product if it came in eco friendly packaging. On the flipside, brand owners may be at risk of damaging their business profile if they don’t use sustainable packaging. For example, if your packaging materials can’t be easily recycled (or composted!), your customers are likely to be more frustrated than excited. Advancements in the material sorting facilities in the key regions across the globe have contributed significantly to the development of the post-consumer recycled plastic packaging market. Newer technologies in producing post-consumer recycled products and materials are also utilized across the market. There are FDA regulations in practice for packaging food products across the globe that can cause some concern for corporates that have worldwide presence in the post-consumer recycled plastic packaging market. Moreover, the shortage in the supply of recycled plastic packaging products is also considered to be a significant restraining factor for the market growth. The recycled plastics produced in the material sorting plants are light weighted and eco-friendly and have properties such as strength and crack resistance. These factors are also responsible for fueling the growth of post-consumer recycled plastic packaging.
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Packaging Industry is Undergoing “Sustainable Transformation”
Marketing trends such as changing consumer lifestyle and increased awareness for eco-friendly tagged products are supporting the demand for recycled packaging materials. In addition, the demand by manufacturers and distributors for packaging made by recycled packaging material while retaining protective qualities and resistance against water and heat is likely to support the market growth. The emergence of bioplastics such as PLA, PHB and starch-based are likely to have high growth in the years to come. Since it results in lesser footprint and consumes lesser energy compared to traditional packaging materials. Versatility and flexibility are key factors which are likely to boost the recycled packaging industry demand for recycled packaging materials. Machines and equipment which enables faster and bulk production is likely to augment the demand for recycled packaging materials. This results in production efficiency and cost-effectiveness which is beneficial for the brand owners.
As the environment becomes a more salient issue, it will continue to be hugely important for businesses to adopt sustainable packaging. Fortunately, there are more green packaging solutions on the market than ever before – and at far more accessible price points! It’s a fantastic way for your business to cut down its carbon footprint, and also to give yourself a competitive edge in your industry.