If you have opened your box from Amazon or your package from Walmart, you will see how many resources were consumed to satisfy customer demand and deliver the item. It is estimated that approximately 14 million tons of plastic containers and packaging were generated in the United States alone. In fact, fewer than one-fifth were recycled.
A recent study out of the United Kingdom found that half of consumers are allured by eco packaging. The report highlighted how much shoppers value eco packaging. One-third said they would not shop at a retailer if they were aware the packaging methods were unsustainable. This could serve as a tremendous opportunity to tap into a market that is potentially on the ground floor.
Many consumers are upset by the exorbitant amount of waste, leading to new campaigns around the world for sustainable packaging. Is it time your brand hopped on the bandwagon? If so, you need to equip yourself with the best tactics to ensure that your business is being sustainable the right way.
Here are eight tips for an effective sustainable packaging strategy:
Tip #1: Ship in Smaller Packages
A common piece of feedback among the environmentally conscious consumer is there being too much packaging for our items. Why would a pair of headphones require layers of packaging materials? Why would a shirt need so much wrapping during the shipping process? Doesn’t this lead to overall waste?
As more customers become aware of the consumption aspects, brands could align with this interest by shipping their goods in smaller packages. Not only does this save on shipping costs, but it requires fewer resources in production, pleasing eco-friendly customers. This could also trigger greater brand loyalty, which is a hot commodity in today’s ultra-competitive global marketplace.
Tip #2: Partner with Sustainable Suppliers
Is your current packaging supplier eco-friendly enough? Why not partner with a likeminded supplier that wants to be green? Choosing to collaborate with a producer or a service that prioritises sustainability is a great look for your organisation. Of course, you do need to perform your due diligence. Otherwise, somebody might discover that the entity failed to recycle coffee cup lids, which could cause a stink on social media and drag your brand down.
Tip #3: Use Plant-Based Packaging
Plant-based materials are becoming increasingly popular in a sustainable packaging strategy. Many organizations have gone plant-based, from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. You can join the eco-friendly movement by incorporating plant-based packaging into your business model.
From cornstarch packaging to mushroom packaging, a lot of companies have introduced everyday products that are manufactured from plant-based materials. This is an incredible progression for the packaging industry, because plant-based packaging can cut costs significantly. Plus, this type of packaging boosts your credibility for being an eco-friendly business!
Tip #4: Switch to Edible Packaging
Would you eat your food container box? Would you eat your utensils? Would you eat your wrapping?
Edible packaging is still in its infancy stage, but it is something that a lot of industry experts say will be the next big thing for companies around the world. While edible packaging is still being developed, the private sector has been experimenting with this packaging type. From an edible to cup to packaging made of actual foods, innovation is thriving in the packaging industry.
And you know what? Your business should try it too! You could even initiate a marketing campaign around your first shipment being entirely edible. Customers will be interested, curious, and excited when they see the use of edible packaging.
Tip #5: Utilise Compostable Packaging
Wouldn’t it be great if you could compost your packaging instead of tossing it in the garbage or in the recycling bin? Compostable materials are starting to be included in the sustainable packaging strategy for many businesses. A growing number of firms has shipped their products in compostable and biodegradable plastic alternatives, which are made from plant-based polymer.
If you are interested in the details: a commercial compost facility can break these packages down in 90 days, while your household could potentially accomplish it in 180 days. Is that a long time? Sure, but it is better for the planet.
Tip #6: Make Your Packaging Functional
One of the best trends in the packaging industry is turning your packaging into a functional tool. Repurposing your food container, for example, can help it become a puzzle box or even a juice box. This allows your packaging to have a second life and prevents it from ending up in landfills. With the right production techniques, any packaging could be reused for something else.
Tip #7: Offset Emissions with Carbon-Neutral Shipping
In the packaging industry, there are plenty of tips and tricks to reduce your carbon emissions. If you have any process generating carbon emissions, you can offset this with another process that consists of zero or fewer levels of carbon. For example, you may need to ship something by air, which produces an enormous sum of carbon emissions. In this case, you offset this by manufacturing goods that are environmentally friendly.
Tip #8: Educate Customers with Best Recycling Practices
A customer opens the box and finds a note. The note contains a list of the best recycling practices to institute into your household. This is a great way to help your shoppers improve their lives and help the planet. It can also share how your company is trying to be environmentally friendly, particularly when it comes to shipping and packaging.
You never want to be righteous, and preachy in your messaging, but friendly tips are always welcome. This small gesture in your sustainable packaging strategy might have a positive impact on how customers perceive your business.