In an era where global warming continues to threaten the world, businesses need to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives into their operational processes. One critical area you must focus on is your packaging.
According to statistics, the UK alone generated 5.4 million and 2.5 million metric tons of paper and plastic packaging waste, respectively, in 2021. With so much waste, it only makes sense to start rethinking your company’s packaging to prevent them from accumulating and constituting world pollution.
This article shares the numerous benefits of switching to sustainable and green product packaging to convince you further.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
Before enumerating the different reasons to switch to sustainable packaging, let’s first understand what sustainable packaging is.
Sustainable packaging, also known as green or eco-friendly packaging, refers to packaging solutions with minimal carbon footprint and environmental impact–from production to after-use.
This may include materials and processes that are environmentally friendly–whether it helps minimize material wastes or doesn’t contribute to the depletion of natural resources.
With the increasing demand for sustainable product packaging, numerous providers and companies like Packaging World has emerged, offering eco-friendly solutions to streamline a business’s product packaging needs.
Benefits Of Switching To Sustainable Product Packaging
Many businesses are now making a deliberate switch to eco-friendly packaging for its numerous benefits. Here are some of the reasons to switch to green packaging.
1. It Is Cost-Effective
The cost will always be a significant factor for businesses. And you’ll be happy to know that switching to sustainable product packaging can significantly cut costs in various areas of your business.
For one, any product or material that depends on finite resources will become more expensive over time. However, recycled packaging or those made from renewable sources is a lot cheaper. Also, as green packaging becomes more popular, vendors now offer them at competitive rates, which can help you get great deals.
Your business can also enjoy overhead savings after adopting eco-friendly packaging. Some strategies, such as reducing packaging size, can help minimize waste but is also beneficial for shipping costs. Since the overall product is lighter and smaller, it also costs less to ship.
2. Consumers Want It And Will Pay For It
Consumers are becoming more conscious about their shopping habits and overall environmental impact. They’re not only looking for green and eco-friendly products but are also concerned about sustainable packing practices.
In particular, today’s generation turns out to be a fussy bunch. Gen Z and millennial shoppers decisively favor brands with stronger corporate social responsibility (CSR), of which sustainability is a core component.
In fact, did you know that modern consumers expect businesses to be more concerned about their environmental and societal impact? They pay close attention to a business’s social initiatives and are curious about how companies address ecological issues.
With the growing interest in CSR, it’s common for consumers to rally together and support businesses that make a positive environmental impact. Moreover, showing that you’re actively participating in green initiatives, including sustainable product packaging, will garner customer support, even if it means a higher price tag.
Consumers will also reward your company for helping achieve your sustainable goals with positive word-of-mouth marketing and for building a solid reputation in your industry.
So, by switching to green packaging and making your company a purpose-driven organization, you can connect with prospects and customers, influencing them to change their buying habits, ultimately leading to conversions and brand loyalty. Otherwise, you’ll lose them to a brand with more solid eco-friendly packaging and other initiatives.
3. It Strengthens Employee Satisfaction
In this ‘great resignation era,’ the struggle to retain employees is real. Businesses do everything in their power to entice applicants while keeping existing employees loyal, often in the form of monetary incentives. However, there’s something to be said for offering employees more than an increased paycheck or more bonuses.
Aside from your customers, the people working for you also want you to be environmentally responsible. They want to know that their employer supports ecologically-neutral, socially accountable, and future-focused initiatives, including greener product packaging.
When you reduce their carbon footprint, you can consequently improve employee engagement. It also helps you attract new talents eager to showcase their skills while making a difference in the world. In fact, statistics show that employees who feel they’re a part of an ecological mission are less likely to quit and put in more effort at work.
In short, it matters to employees where their company stands regarding its environmental impact. And as workers demand companies with strong CSR, sustainable product packaging and other eco-friendly initiatives in the workplace can enhance your overall company culture.
4. It Fosters Environmental Protection
From its definition, sustainable product packaging is all about using environmentally friendly materials for packaging.
Traditional packaging materials, especially plastic products, are among the most significant environmental issues today. Plastic packaging materials are incredibly harmful to the environment during production, causing widespread air pollution.
After use, it takes a decade or two for everyday plastic packaging to degrade, whereas plastic bottles require centuries before they’re gone. They take up landfill space while leaching toxins into the soil, water table and air.
When inhaled or consumed, these harmful toxins can cause various health issues, from cancer and obesity to cognitive impairment and reproductive problems.
However, switching to sustainable packaging requires renewable materials such as sugarcane, recycled paper pulp, cornstarch, and potato starch that break down far more quickly without causing surface-level and environmental pollution.
Part of what makes eco-friendly product packaging sustainable is its ability to be recycled or reused. Your customers can reuse your product packaging instead of throwing it away. This extends its lifespan, lowering your company’s and your customer’s carbon footprint.
Serious business owners must recognize sustainable and eco-friendly packaging to make a good impression on their customers and employees and continue to thrive in this business world.
What was once a ‘nice-to-have’ feature now is becoming a ‘must-have’ practice, providing numerous benefits to your company and ultimately influencing your bottom line and longevity.