Plastics and plastic packaging have been a major reason behind environmental pollution for the past century. But nowadays corporate sectors are waking up to this problem and are now adopting an alternate approach towards packaging which contains sustainable elements.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING?
There has been a shift in businesses’ attitudes regarding the environment over the last few years. This shift could be considered a positive one as the well-being of future generations depends heavily on how businesses and individuals act today to protect and preserve the earth’s natural resources and environment which are currently deploying. There is a specific term that categorizes these industries, Sustainable industry.
A sustainable industry is an industry that is in alignment with its environment. It takes care of the wider world including its customers, suppliers, and staff. They care about the future along with providing the necessities of today. The goods that these industries manufacture are supplied in sustainable packaging made of materials that are fully recyclable.
BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING TO THE INDUSTRY
The real question is why are these industries moving towards sustainable packaging and what are the major benefits?
Reflects social responsibility
When a big brand shifts towards ways that save nature and the environment it shows that they feel responsible for society and are willing to change themselves for the betterment of their customers. It makes the industry seem something bigger than just a business and people feel connected towards it.
Meet Retailers requirements
Retailers often demand to eliminate plastic and include recyclable products from industries. So companies who wish to sell to retailers are obliged to obtain sustainable packaging.
Less carbon footprint
The number of carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels in your company is called carbon footprint. Sustainable packaging made of recyclable material reduces the carbon footprint of industry thus reducing the negative impact on the environment.
Sustainable packaging can be reused and repurposed in industries. These packages are very versatile and can be used to pack different kinds of things at the same time thus reducing the unnecessary costs of additional packages.
Modern customers are well informed about the challenges faced by the environment and environmentally conscious brands catch the shoppers’ eyes, gaining their trust. So obtaining sustainable packaging gains millennials as customers and increases the sales of the company.
WHY IS IT THE ALARMING NEED OF TOMORROW?
Widespread use of single-use packaging has put a heavy burden on the environment and is leading to two prominent issues:
Recyclability of Packaging:
Brands are producing large amounts of packaging which cannot be recycled in existing recycling systems. This especially happens in the case of multi-layered plastic (MLP) packaging. MLP is any material used for packaging and having at least one layer of plastic as the main ingredient in combination with other material layers like polymeric materials, paper, aluminum foil, etc.
The rate of recycling is relatively low for plastic packaging. Only a small percentage of all plastic waste is re-processed to make new products. Most of the plastic waste goes into landfills and incineration, leading to materials getting lost forever as a resource, despite plastic’s potential for recycling.
THE NEW WAVE OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Whether it’s the fashion industry or food businesses, companies have taken on the much-needed responsibility of reducing their carbon footprint, toxins, and plastics and have changed their packaging game by opting for more sustainable alternatives.
- Amazon collaborated with Tide to introduce sustainable packaging that led to 60% less usage of plastic for the brand.
- LEGO is another brand that has decided to shift towards sustainability as they have been using recyclable paper and cardboard for their packaging.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken popularly known as KFC and Frito Lay are major names of the food industry that are on their way to becoming completely waste-free, ensuring paper-based packaging and cutlery at their outlet, and reusing plastic-based packaging.
- Calvin Klien is using up to 70% eco-friendly packaging and they are aiming to become a zero-waste company by 2030.
Sustainability helps in the future. And small initiatives like the elimination of single-use packaging will help in keeping water bodies free of microplastics which will further lead to the protection of sea life. Sustainable packaging is healthy for human life as it eliminates the toxins entering the body released in food and water from the plastic.
The shift to sustainability can be done by adopting eco-friendly solutions, for example, paper, metal, and glass. More and more companies are stepping forward to invest a gargantuan amount of money in research and development to facilitate change in the environment.