Given the growing global plastic pollution, retailers are turning to eco-friendly packaging solutions. Eco-packaging has also generated a lot of hype among consumers, who are all too aware of the devastating impact plastic waste has on the environment. But in essence, what is truly eco-friendly packaging?
By definition, eco-friendly packaging is any packaging that is easy to recycle, safe for individuals and the environment, and made from recycled materials. It uses materials and manufacturing methods with minimal impact on energy consumption and natural resources. Environmentally friendly packaging solutions, also known as sustainable packaging or green packaging, aim to:
Reduce product packaging
Promote the use of renewable/reusable materials
Reduce packaging related costs
Eliminate the use of toxic materials in packaging production
Option to easily recycle packaging
Why use eco-friendly packaging?
Choosing eco-packaging is a step towards reducing plastic waste.
The environmental impact of single-use plastics does not begin and end with waste disposal. Most consumers know that this is just the tail end of the process. A certain type of packaging can have a serious impact on the environment at every stage of its production, from the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, use, all the way to its disposal.
The average Australian uses 130kg of plastic each year. Up to 130,000 tons of plastic could end up in waterways and oceans. If we don't act on it, this plastic pollution threatens our marine wildlife and contaminates our food chain.
Switching to eco-packaging is the most feasible solution to reduce this problem. Packaging manufacturers and businesses play a huge role in mainstreaming eco-friendly packaging products. With plastic pollution growing at an alarming rate, industry needs to reduce its use, if not completely eliminate it.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition details why this revolutionary approach to packaging is good for our entire planet.
It is safe and healthy for people and the community throughout its life cycle
It is made of healthy materials
It uses renewable energy to source, manufacture, transport and recycle
Sustainable packaging passes market standards for cost and performance
Physical design of eco-packaging to optimize materials and energy
It optimizes the use of recycled or renewable resource materials
Eco-packaged products are manufactured using cleaner production techniques and ethical practices
It is recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed loop cycles
Taking ecological thinking and translating it into your packaging design is also good for your brand. One study shows that sustainable packaging can help brand owners increase net sales by approximately 2% to 4%. Thank you for the growing number of consumers, especially millennials, who patronize businesses with a clear environmental focus. According to the study, these consumers view eco-friendly packaging as part of the overall brand experience.
Which packaging material is better for the environment?
Choose packaging materials that are easy to reuse or recycle.