People are getting more conscious about shopping experiences day by day. They are not only concerned about sustainable products but are also interested in the eco-friendly packaging practices followed by businesses.
It’s the right time to change your traditional packaging habits and shift to eco-friendly ones. This will not just boost your customer’s loyalty and trust in your brand but will also help you to protect the environment.
“More than 54% of consumers under age 44 prefer sustainable packaging while buying anything.”
At the end of the day, not only the company’s branding but also our planet will see a considerable difference due to these healthy practices.
By chance, you are not aware of sustainable packaging, do not be ashamed. Continue reading to get complete know-how about sustainable packaging!
What is Eco-Friendly Packaging?
Simply, eco-friendly or sustainable packaging refers to the kind of packaging that has negligible impacts on the environment. Materials used for this packaging are recyclable and don’t cause pollution.
The material is recyclable and has a longer lifespan than others. To mention resources are also not wasted because you don’t need anything virgin to create new boxes.
“More than 80% of consumers deliberately buy from companies that put effort in eco-friendly practices.”
For this, you want to focus on the Return On Relationship (ROR) model instead of the Return On Investment Model (ROI).
Why is sustainable packaging important?
Companies that offer eco-friendly packaging boxes enjoy a win-win situation in the end. They not only impart their role in environmental protection but also gain so much respect from the clients while enjoying other perks. Some of them are:
Healthy for environment
As sustainable products assist in preserving the environment for the future, they will help you to reduce the carbon footprint and reduce the harmful impacts on the environment. If you are using eco-friendly boxes, it will lessen the industrial products’ emissions and reduce water
and electricity usage.
It will also affect your packaging expenses as you’ll help save electricity and water with less solid waste production. You can save up to a lot of money which can be used for the cost-worthy activities of the company.
“According to the Empowered Consumers Call For Sustainability Transformation survey, 61% of customers look for energy-efficient labels when buying a product.”
Boosts up your brand’s reputation
Switching from traditional to eco-friendly packaging depicts you’re not only concerned about the money. Instead of this, you care more about the environment. You sincerely perform your social responsibility and provide them with the best options. This will be a solid booster for your business reputation, and you can pitch them easily with this idea.
Increase branding opportunities
Whether you are manufacturing custom boxes, bags, or food boxes, every business has its own distinctive branding tactics. Customized packaging assists you in brand awareness and consistency and takes your business to a different level. You’ll not only be famous for your products but will be admired for your values.
Is switching from traditional to eco-friendly packaging worth it or not?
“According to a survey by Raconteur, about 43% of brands say that a high budget was one of the main concerns that stopped them from investing in eco-friendly packaging.”
The cost of sustainable packaging is a genuine concern for many out there. People assume sustainable packaging is too expensive to be afforded! But is this actually true, or is it just a misconception? The answer is no! Sustainable packaging helps brands save money in the long term. Because:
- Innovative designs
- Sustainable materials
- Collaboration with expert suppliers
- No plastic tax
Innovation for packaging varieties is endless. With the right choice of design, sustainable packaging can be reusable and even save space for the long term. As a result of this, you can save a considerable amount of money.
Though some materials for environment-friendly packaging are expensive, this is not the end of the discussion. There’s a wide variety of other materials you can use if you are dealing in sustainable packaging. And they are way cheaper than traditional packaging. Check out those options and go for the best choice that meets your business demands.
Collaboration with expert suppliers
If you are new to this business or don’t have complete know-how of sustainable packaging, contact some reputable and well-connected suppliers when choosing the best material. Many business owners provide stock on an order basis, so you can easily save up your inventory space.
No plastic tax
“The law about plastic packaging was implemented in April 2022, so you must pay the tax if you are manufacturing or importing more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging.”
This will cost you more as compared to switching to sustainable packaging. Traditional plastic packaging is cheaper as we have used it for many decades. But once everyone realizes the importance of eco-friendly packaging, it will become less expensive as people start investing in it.
What strategies should you adopt for sustainable packaging?
Opt recyclable practices
Informing and educating consumers about recycling the product is one of the best ways to dispose of your packaging items. Sometimes, it can be a little hectic because recycling practices vary from place to place. To overcome this issue, you can label the packages as reusable or recyclable.
A cleaning brand named Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day is educating its consumers very well. They not only added a recycling icon on the bottles but also wrote a line;
“Laundry bottles are made of less than 30% post-consumer plastic. Recycle it!”
As the world is progressing, plant-based packaging is in rapid trend. These are manufactured from biological sources, like mushrooms, seaweeds and food waste. Which plant-based packaging options you should choose depends on what kind of product you are packing or shipping.
If you own a food business, go with bioplastic packaging. The reason is it will protect the food without affecting its flavour. In case you are shipping heavy items, you must have durable plant-based materials that are made from mushrooms and cornstarch.
Ever heard about the 3Rs? It’s reduce, reuse and recycle. Reusing used products is another way to extend the product life used earlier. When selecting the best choice among mailers, cardboard boxes, or other packaging materials, try to go with the option manufactured from recycled materials.
A typical example of this is paperboard cardboard. It is manufactured from pulp which makes it light in weight, and you can easily cut this to make shipping boxes.
You can even go with mailers or other packaging boxes manufactured from old plastic materials like bottles and single-use bottles. Recycling factories process this used plastic and make packaging supplies from it.
“According to Global Buying Green Report 2022, 74% of customers are willing to purchase products that offer refillable packaging.”
Biodegradable or compostable packaging is another alternative strategy for sustainability. People use packaging materials that can be composted easily at home and commercially.
These eco-friendly packaging boxes are made from plant-based polymers, which break down into composting after usage.
Normally, packages decompose in about 90 days under commercial composting conditions, while in domestic scenarios, it takes almost 180 days or 4 months.
Shipping In small cartons
You can reduce using the number of packaging materials, and ultimately, your carbon footprint will be under control. You can opt for this strategy by using small containers for your business. This will benefit you in two ways; it will be sustainable and even reduce the shipping cost.
This will also benefit you in terms of using less filler materials. So while choosing the right size for your product, try to go with that position which can be placed in smaller packages.
Assume you run a furniture business. You can disassemble the furniture parts and figure out how to save a lot of space. In case of shipping bedding, apparel, or other foldable items, fold them tightly so that they fit in smaller boxes.
“Ikea saves €1.2 million annually as their engineers have figured out the ways to disassemble its Ektorp sofa into several pieces, reducing the packaging size by 50%.”
Imagine you can eat the packaging too. Doesn’t it sound exciting? You’ll be thinking about what’s different between plant-based and edible packaging! Both are somewhat the same. These packaging boxes are manufactured from biological sources.
These packages are safe and healthy to eat. Edible packaging is the best option for those running beverage and food businesses. You can offer delicious packages as well as the meal.
Next is avoiding the overpackaging strategy! There are lump-sum packing materials in the retail supply chains. The items are bundled and even squeezed by using additional packaging materials.
To overcome this issue, you need to optimize your business by using strategies to minimize these materials. Resultantly, there’ll be less packaging waste.
What comes to mind while reading this plantable packaging? A picture of you planting your packaging carton? This is another step towards innovation. Now you can plant the cartons or boxes as during their manufacturing; seeds are sown in them.
When delivered to the customers, after taking out your product, you can sow it in the soil. These packages are great for running cosmetics or jewellery businesses as they are light in weight and even can be used as product fillers or wraps.
How eco-friendly packaging provides returns on investment?
Eco-friendly boxes can provide significant returns on investment for businesses. While the cost of eco-friendly packaging materials may be slightly higher than traditional packaging materials, the long-term benefits can outweigh the initial costs.
Here are some of the ways in which eco-friendly packaging boxes can provide returns on investment:
Reduced Material Costs
Eco-friendly boxes often use less material than traditional packaging, which can help reduce material costs in the long run.
Increased Customer Loyalty
Consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and are more likely to choose products packaged in eco-friendly materials. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
Using eco-friendly packaging can help improve a business’s brand reputation and enhance its image as a socially responsible and environmentally conscious company.
Cost Savings on Disposal
Traditional packaging materials can be costly to dispose of, while eco-friendly materials can often be recycled or composted, which can help businesses save on disposal costs.
“About 74% of Calvin Klein’s packaging is recyclable. They save over 200 tons of plastic annually by switching to thin materials for their cloth packaging.”
In many countries, there are regulations in place that require businesses to use eco-friendly packaging materials. Companies can avoid fines and legal issues by complying with these regulations.
Business examples that offer eco-friendly packaging
Samsung is currently working on repurposing its brand packaging. While buying something from them, you can select what your packaging will turn into.
If you are purchasing an LED television, you can repose the box into a desk or bookshelf, table stand, storage box, magazine rack and even pet stand. Although these boxes are recyclable, it’s still an interesting thing to use them for other purposes.
Food Chain Restaurants
Another renowned brand KFC is introducing ways to be more eco-friendly. They are serving coffee in edible cups that resemble their usual coffee cups. Although this concept is not new, KFC is still the first chain restaurant to introduce and manufacture edible cups. In the same way,
“McDonald’s announced their foam packaging would disappear at the end of this year. They’ll completely switch to renewable and recycled packaging by 2025.”
This makes them an inevitable example of how you can repurpose your packages.
Bee Bright is another smart idea for some nature-loving people. This brand offers honey jars made from 100% beeswax, which, once finished, turns into a candle. What you have to do is, flip over the bottle and thus will your candle as the jar’s lid is now the candle’s base. This is a perfect example of multiple-use packaging.
A Canadian brand named Soapack is now offering a specific type of soap bottle that dissolves completely in hot water once they are finished.
On average, a person uses 800 shampoo bottles in his life. All these bottles are discarded by throwing them in landfills. They stay there for thousands of years before degradation. So introducing such eco-friendly products is a smart solution for avoiding such issues.
The ideas of how to adopt eco-friendly packaging are endless. You just have to decide the right approach for your business. For this, it’s up to you whether you’ll reuse your packaging or switch to entirely eco-friendly items. But whatever you do, stick to your plan, and there will be a time when it will start paying you back.