Sustainable packaging is one of the top packaging trends of 2023, and with good reason. In the past, consumers paid little attention to product packaging. As the world has shifted focus, people care more about where their products come from and whether the businesses they choose are committed to sustainability.
Ignoring the sustainable packaging trend can significantly affect your business, alienating many eco-conscious consumers. Paying attention to your packaging can enhance your brand reputation, connect you with your customers and help the environment. Making the shift to more eco-friendly packaging and waste reduction is critical for businesses.
When you ship your product to a store or online buyer, you use packaging to protect and market your product. Packaging waste is the parts of the packaging the consumer throws away, destined for a landfill where it has significant pollutant effects on our environment.
Packaging is the largest market use for plastic, resulting in almost half of the plastic waste produced worldwide. In the U.S. alone, we had 35.7 million tons of plastic in 2018. The use of plastic in packaging is a serious environmental issue, and packaging companies and their customers must look at effective alternatives to reduce the plastic pollution packaging creates.
One element of choosing sustainable packaging is doing the right thing for the environment. The other is the customer. More consumers are concerned with buying from eco-friendly manufacturers and often consider a company’s environmental footprint before purchasing.
Packaging waste is a broad term that can refer to several materials. If it ends up in a landfill, you can consider it packaging waste. Some of the most common forms of packaging waste include the following:
These are just a few packaging waste examples, some of which we can recycle.
The packaging consumers receive the last piece in a long and detailed life cycle of packaging waste. To understand how much waste a product can generate, we need to consider the product life cycle as a whole. Some examples of packaging waste in the product life cycle include the following:
Although switching to sustainable packaging may require upfront costs, the benefits are significant. They can lead to reduced costs in the long term. Sustainable packaging has multiple benefits for the environment and businesses, including the following:
Much of the nonbiodegradable packaging we use ends up in the environment. Sustainable packaging will reduce plastic pollution’s effects on wildlife, their ecosystems, and human health. When landfills are full, their contents are incinerated to make room for more waste, which releases harmful toxins into the air. The global use of sustainable packaging could improve the earth’s air quality.
Using sustainable packaging can help you reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, which matters to more consumers yearly.
Finite, nonrecyclable materials will likely become more expensive over time. Sustainable packaging forms part of the supply chain, helping businesses avoid sudden price changes and shortages. In other words, recycling your packaging can save you money in the long term.
Sustainable packaging can also lower your overhead costs. It’s often lighter than the alternative, making shipping less expensive. Creating packaging return systems for customers also minimizes the need to develop new packaging. Many businesses offer customers the option of returning their packaging for a discount on their next purchase. They can sterilize and reuse this packaging, saving the time and money required to create them.
Many consumers have a sense of social responsibility, and modern consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable products. They’re likely to align with businesses that share the same sustainability goals and avoid those not interested in reducing their environmental impact.
More importantly, consumers often return to businesses with the same sustainability focus, so using sustainable packaging can create a loyal customer base for your business.
Many employees share the same sustainability focus as your customers. In fact, 72% of employees working for organizations with sustainability programs say they rarely consider looking for another job. Working for an eco-friendly business makes them feel good about their work, which leads to increased retention rates and a more collaborative company culture.
Many sustainable packaging options are free of allergens and harmful toxins. In the world of the consumer who wants to know what’s in the products they buy, providing them with healthier options is an excellent way to connect with your customers and show you genuinely care about their health, well-being and personal choices.
When your company contributes positively to sustainability, you’ll create loyalty in your existing customers but also expand your reach. Eco-friendly packaging is a new way to market your brand and increase sales.
Understanding the benefits of sustainable packaging and reducing waste is one thing, but putting it into practice is another. There are several steps you can take to smooth the transition and reduce packaging waste, including the following:
The shift to sustainable packaging is more manageable when you have the right provider. Bolt Boxes understands that every customer has different needs, and we prioritize your sustainability. Our Kraft boxes are 100% recyclable and made from 60-95% post-consumer waste. We will custom-make packages to fit your products so that you can cut down on package waste.