The environmental crisis is very real. And it impacts each one of us. Climate change, deforestation, plastic pollution, carbon emissions - these environmental issues are making it imperative for companies to think eco-friendly, go green.
What's more, they're giving rise to 'conscious consumerism' which is a growing trend these days. Consumers are more aware of what they buy and consume, they consider the social, environmental and political impact of products, and make purchase decisions accordingly. A growing number of millennial consumers are willing to pay more for a product if it is guaranteed to be eco-friendly and ethically-made. A 2015 Nielsen study showed that 66% of global respondents were willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging, a number that keeps rising as awareness increases.
It becomes important therefore, that businesses adapt to meet these increasing demands not only to help the environment and community, but to also attract conscious consumers and improve sales.
As businesses look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, demonstrate their social responsibility and cater to the conscious consumer, more and more of them are switching to environment-friendly products packaging.
Generally, eco-friendly packaging is made with biodegradable and compostable materials. It could be made out of recycled materials and is usually lighter and less bulky than conventional packaging. It could be recyclable, reusable, non-toxic, based in biomass or natural products. Or the manufacturing uses more eco-friendly, low-impact processes that conserve resources and limit carbon emissions.
It's not just conscious consumers driving the need for eco-friendly packaging, governments too have realised they need to act to reduce the trash they are producing. Trash that doesn't biodegrade or compost is a disposal and logistical nightmare. So nations around the world are taking a strong stance and enacting laws. For example, Australia has mandated that by 2025, 100% of the country's food packaging must be recyclable, reusable or compostable. Morocco has banned plastic bags while Kenya imposes a 4-year jail term or hefty fine for use of plastic bags.
The reasons to use eco-friendly packaging materials are quite obvious.
Most of the trash in landfills comes from packaging material. With e-commerce becoming more and more popular, consumers have more packages being delivered and few ways of disposal. Recyclable and compostable containers are easier to dispose of, and if they end up in landfills, they degrade faster. If your packaging can be recycled and reused sustainably -it means less waste for disposal and reduces the burden on waste disposal services.
Reduces carbon footprint
Green packaging made from recycling waste material and using fewer resources to manufacture, can reduce your company's impact on the earth.
Lower shipping costs
Eco-friendly packaging is usually designed to provide effective protection for the contents while requiring less material and being less bulky. So they weigh less and take up less space, making them more affordable to ship.
Healthier alternative for consumers
Eco-friendly packaging doesn't contain harmful chemicals or materials that are known to cause health issues
Improves your brand image and attracts loyalty
Showing that you care is one of the simplest ways of making people care about your business. By making environmentally responsible choices, you position your business as conscious and responsible, thereby improving your brand reputation and appeal to more customers.
Is eco-friendly packaging economically viable?
For a while, businesses believed that going green with products and packaging would harm business as the extra cost would reduce profitability. However today, both business and environment can win. Also, there is a huge movement dedicated to innovative packaging solutions - to developing newer, better, more cost-efficient packaging with lesser impact on the planet.
Sustainability is a way to show consumers that you care for their needs and are thoughtful about how you produce and pack their products. Eco-friendly packaging sends out a message that you are a responsible, conscious enterprise concerned with more than just profitability. So what are you waiting for? Switch to environmentally-friendly packaging today.