With the world economy developing and population growing at a constant pace, the planet’s natural resources are getting damaged in several ways, many of which are overlooked.
But, in recent years, people have started taking the greener route, looking for products that are environment friendly, and this has resulted in businesses implementing green solutions in any aspect possible, including their packaging.
But, does packaging really matter? Yes, it certainly does in the retail sector, because of the obvious fact that it kindles a customer’s the first impression about your product.
All the big brands out there know this fact, which is why they spend a lot of their resources, including billions of dollars, just on packaging.
When it comes to green solutions and packaging, sustainable packaging is one of the many techniques that businesses have started using, because customers today notice how environmentally conscious a brand is in terms of their packaging.
Therefore, sustainability, and sustainable packaging, is not just a nice-to-have feature, but rather a must-have one, for all companies looking to meet customer demands and protect their business.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
In vague terms, you could just say that sustainable packaging refers to something that can be recycled and doesn’t harm the environment and people, reducing your impact on the environment.
This just doesn’t cut it in today’s world, where customers are expecting brands to be responsible in every way possible.
Therefore, in this era, sustainable packaging refers to the overall sustainability of a company and its impact on the environment. In fact, what’s really worth it is to include sustainability in the whole life cycle of the package.
According to the Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA), for any packaging to be considered sustainable, it should be:
✓ Effective – provide value to the society by protecting products right through the supply chain, as well as by supporting responsible consumption.
✓ Efficient – supporting efficient use of energy and materials throughout the product life cycle.
✓ Cyclic – the packaging materials are constantly cycled via natural or technical processes in order to reduce degradation or the use of upgrading additives.
✓ Safe – the components used in packaging are safe for humans as well as the environment.
Furthermore, the materials used for packaging should be sourced from renewable and recyclable sources.
This includes materials that contain no hazardous chemicals, recycled materials, or making sure that the materials used for packaging are recyclable.
It is also important to consider the entire product life cycle, making sure to implement green techniques and processes at every touchpoint possible.
Not to forget, avoiding waste wherever and as much as possible is crucial as well, and this can include upgrading or even investing in machinery that minimize packaging waste right at production.
How Can Your Business Benefit from Sustainable Packaging?
While your brand can benefit in a lot of ways by opting for sustainable packaging, one of the most prominent ones is that your products will start attracting a whole bunch of environmentally conscious consumers.
This customer base is on the rise right now, which means not meeting their demands will make you miss out on a huge crowd, thereby trailing behind your competitors big time.
In addition, you can also use it as a new marketing method. How?
An international study conducted by Unilever revealed that a third of consumers prefer purchasing from brands that are sustainable, ones that do good to the environment and the society.
Over one in five of the individuals surveyed for this study said that they would go with brands that clearly mentioned their sustainability credentials in their marketing and also on their packaging.
This gives you the opportunity to use sustainable packaging as also your marketing tool, benefiting from it financially as well.
Even now, for many businesses, sustainable packaging only means recyclable packaging. They fail to understand that what customers are actually looking for is a real story behind the products they choose to purchase.
Therefore, what really matters is using eco-friendly solutions throughout the life cycle of a product rather than just on the end result.
Yes, there is still a long way to go for the packaging industry to come up with more sustainable solutions; however, it is up to brands and businesses to drive the change by using sustainable packaging every time possible.