Given the scientific fact that ours is the only habitable planet in the entire universe, it comes down as not just a civic but, moral responsibility for all of us to contribute towards greener and sustainable living.
Choosing eco-friendly packaging is one such way that industries can adopt to contribute towards a sustainable planet.
Did you know that – as per a report from TheWorldCounts – over 2 billion tons of waste gets dumped in landfills around the world every year? That’s equivalent to 200,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
The sheer volume of waste and its effect on the environment has prompted a push for sustainable packaging alternatives across all industry types.
In the same context, we’ll be discussing the need for eco-friendly packaging that industries must comply with and will give you some inspirational examples to follow.
Let’s begin with a simple definition of eco-friendly packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging, or sustainable packaging, is the means to source, develop, and use packaging solutions that have minimal environmental impact and footprint.
In simpler words, “sustainable packaging is earth-friendly and doesn’t contribute to the further depletion of natural resources.”
A decade ago, industry experts would call packaging “sustainable” or eco-friendly if it met the following 5 criteria:
Later the list was shortened to the commonly-known 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle – but also added a new concept: rethink.
This was about encouraging brands to strive for more sustainable options.
However, now, according to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) there are 8 criteria for packaging to be considered sustainable. These are;
Using eco-friendly packaging is a necessity for the human race and, therefore, shouldn’t be expected to produce some business gains. However, nature has its ways of always giving the favor back.
The same goes for eco-friendly packaging.
There are several benefits and advantages attached to eco-friendly packaging that business owners can reap. Here are some of the most common ones:
Eco-friendly packaging is the popular choice amongst the modern consumer. Millennials are particularly conscious of the consequences that their purchasing decisions have on the environment.
By conveying your environmental awareness, you’ll win the hearts of consumers and profit through the green marketing of your product packaging.
A survey by CGS of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that almost 70% of respondents considered sustainability as at least “somewhat important” and almost half (47%) said that would pay 25% more for sustainable products.
Another study from Nielsen found that roughly 48% of consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lower their impact on the environment.
Reduction in the shipping cost
Sustainable and eco-friendly products tend to be packaged in more lightweight materials which ultimately can help you save on shipping costs.
Let’s say, it costs you around $23.65 per box – for a 12 x12x12 box weighing 1 lb – from New York to Los Angeles. Now, while using an eco-friendly packaging material if you manage to fit your product into a smaller 10x10x10 box, you lower your rate to $17.72. That’s a difference of $5.93!
Multiply that to the number of containers you ship every quarter and you have a load full of cost-cutting on your hands.
A well-thought-out logistics plan will directly impact your costs in a positive way. Not to mention your consumers will also appreciate it when products are lightweight and easier to recycle.
More storage space
Reducing packaging materials and minimizing waste are two big components of sustainable packaging.
When you decide to make the packaging eco-friendly, chances are you are finding more creative ways to make sure that you are being efficient about how much packaging material you use and how.
This leads to more efficient storage, so you can limit the space required to house your products (thus lowering storage costs), or open up additional space to store more merchandise.
Reduced carbon footprint
And, of course, the very reason for going green with your product packaging is to ensure a reduced carbon footprint and waste.
Eco-friendly packaging is better for the environment as it is made of recycled waste material which reduces the consumption of resources.
If it’s made from recycled products, the carbon footprint of your packaging will be greatly reduced. Similarly, if the packaging is made from natural materials such as bamboo or FSC-approved paper or cardboard, the growth of such products actually draws carbon out of the environment.
The T-shirt Mill
The Humble Co
We hope this blog inspired you to at least give eco-friendly packaging a thought; if not involving it in your business plan right away.
There are plenty of ways we can ensure the sustainability of our home (Earth) and go for sustainable packaging is surely one sure-shot way of doing that.
Also, just because it involves natural or recycled products it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice compromise with the style and looks. With the correct design approach, you can ensure style and sustainability; both at the same time.
For more information and support on packaging design, connect with our advisors today at firstname.lastname@example.org