Packaging faces environmental challenges. To reduce the ecological footprint, it is necessary to manufacture more responsible products and to choose sustainable packaging solutions. But how do you switch to eco-friendly packaging to protect your products? There are many solutions to reduce their environmental impact
What is eco-friendly packaging? :
Eco-friendly packaging is commonly referred to as sustainable packaging. It can help reduce carbon emissions and generate much less waste, thus playing an important role in protecting our planet. Since there is no official definition of eco-friendly packaging, find out if your packaging is sustainable enough.
How to recognize ecological packaging?
To recognize ecological packaging, all you have to do is ask yourself and your supplier the right questions.
1. Is the material renewable or recycled? A renewable material is a material composed of natural resources that reconstitutes itself after being used and consumed, generation after generation.
2. Is the packaging reusable or recyclable? Recyclable packaging can be collected, processed and reused as raw materials or goods. The recyclability of packaging depends on its nature and composition. A mono-material, for example, is better for recycling.
3. Does it have a low carbon footprint? By choosing the right film, putting on the right machines and reducing the size of the box, you help reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Is your packaging suitable for the size of your products? Tailor-made packaging is the best way to achieve this and reduce packaging consumption.
A long life cycle for your ecological packaging:
Review your entire value chain to make sustainable packaging possible and take the best steps to achieve an eco-friendly and innovative packaging solution for your products.
Sourcing is the first step to undertake. Always prefer sustainable raw materials or innovative materials for eco-friendly packaging. To choose the right raw material, give priority to renewable materials, such as FSC or PEFC certified wood-based materials, or recyclable materials, such as thermoplastics such as PE or PP. You can also choose recycled materials, such as paper or cardboard, to transform your sustainable packaging.
Design is also the best way to adapt the packaging to the product and avoid over-packaging. With empty space and excess packaging materials frustrating consumers and creating a negative brand experience, improve customer experience by choosing the right packaging for the right product. $46 billion could be saved worldwide in logistics costs each year by eliminating empty spaces in packaging, reports Forbes Insights’ The Empty Space Economy in 2018. Custom packaging boxes designed by engineers allow for adjust to the minimum size needed and reduce empty rooms. Smaller, lighter packaging also reduces shipping costs and fuel consumption.
To have more ecological transport, why not think globally and act locally? Local production of your packaging is a social, economical and sustainable way to reduce the ecological footprint of transport and the fuel consumption of transport vehicles. Reducing the size and overall weight of packaging (see above) and optimizing loading also reduces the number of vehicles and their carbon consumption. Smaller and lighter packages are easier to send and ship. And if your raw material is also produced locally, it’s even more ecological!
Efficient recyclability is the end goal of eco-friendly packaging. Focus on flexible or mono-material materials as well as biodegradable, plant-based and other eco-friendly alternatives to integrate packaging into a circular supply chain. Some materials biodegrade faster. Get accurate recycling insights from CSR experts to ensure your products will actually be collected, sent to a recovery facility to be sorted, cleaned, and turned into materials that can be used in manufacturing, just as they would be. raw materials.
How to protect the future?
Due to the pandemic, it is becoming impossible to ignore the importance of sustainable packaging solutions. Most companies and brands are heeding consumer demand for more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging. More than two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for packaging with less impact on the environment. In the UK, 50% of consumers said in 2020 that they had ever switched brands due to packaging concerns.* Therefore, the current linear model of the packaging industry needs to be revisited.