Sustainable packaging continues to gain traction in today’s market, as environmental movements continue to grow. Sustainable packaging stems from the go green movement which advocates for reduction, reusing, and recycling of non-biodegradable materials. It is not, then, a surprise that this has led to the invention of biodegradable materials that can be reused or recycled into something valuable. Evolvement in the packaging sector has enabled companies to come up with non-plastic packaging materials. The sustainability of using such materials is, however, influenced by their ability to be recycled, their impact on the environment and the cost.
Benefits accrued from sustainable packaging
Sustainable packaging might not always be appealing, economical and sturdy. Much as it may be more expensive than conventional packaging, it has the following benefits:-
- Ascertains the community’s health and safety
From production to the end product, sustainable packaging material does not predispose workers to hazardous chemicals. Once the products are packaged, unsustainable packaging materials also put the consumers at risk. Through the promotion of health and safety, higher returns on investments are realized by companies as injuries and work-related illnesses are reduced. This is a major contributing factor to customer loyalty.
- Leads to business continuity
The sustainable packaging does not put a strain on natural resources as is the case with conventional packaging. As a result, businesses are able to continue with the production as it is not halted as would be the case once the natural resources are depleted by the latter.
How to achieve sustainable packaging
To achieve sustainable packaging, a company must begin by first considering the source of their raw materials. The use of renewable resources so that natural resources are not depleted in one way of achieving this. The raw materials should also be manufactured through environment-friendly processes. By keeping the weight of the packaging material in mind, companies are able to plan and minimize wastage.
- Companies have to eliminate the production of packaging materials containing hazardous materials such as PVC, coatings, industrial solvents in bleaches, and heavy metals including mercury and lead. These are hazardous to both the consumers and employees.
- Community social responsibility by implementing policies that will help you contribute to the environment in the area your business is located also helps achieve this. For instance, companies whose main raw material is wood could come up with initiatives to plant more trees once they are cut down. Besides providing raw materials for them, this also improves the company’s reputation. Coming up with ways of disposing of production wastes within the stipulated environmental guidelines also achieves sustainable packaging.
- Reducing water and the energy used in the manufacturing process has a major influence on sustainable packaging. This should, however, not compromise on the product’s performance and neither should it make it unaffordable. This is achieved through the changing of materials utilized during the production process.
- Transport during the distribution process can also significantly reduce energy consumption. Packaging materials need to be designed in a way that reduces the weight and occupies less space where this can be achieved. Maximizing the space available is necessary for this to be achieved while using bulk packaging only when it is necessary.
- Coming up with reusable designs so that the packaging is repairable also achieves sustainable packaging. Enhancing the production process can result in a product that will be used for longer periods. Once in a while, the organization should run promotions to encourage their clients to return packaging materials for recycling. Educational forums to teach the community about how packaging materials can be recycled is necessary.
Sustainable packaging and businesses do not always go hand in hand, as businesses have to make a profit at the end of the day. As more and more businesses continue embracing sustainable packaging, production costs are reduced, emissions are reduced, which results into a higher turnover as consumers opt for products that have a reduced negative impact on the environment. Profits are also realized as disposal and emission levies are reduced.
Work with White Graphics Inc.
Sustainable packaging should put into account consumer needs that include; clear labeling, ease of opening and product safety. White Graphics Inc. provides all types of prototype packaging needs. Being an industry leader, we are best placed to advise you on your packaging requirements, be it in the food and beverage industry or otherwise.