Packaging is very essential in every business as it does a lot for the product that they are selling. Mainly, its purpose is to protect the product from any damage or spillage; from the production up until it reaches the hands of the consumers. It also plays a huge part in product visibility in the market, as it undergoes thorough design research to catch the eye of potential consumers.
The impact of packaging on the environment.
Over the past decades, various forms of packaging have been created and widely used by businesses all around the world. Plastic, paper, glass bottles, and tin cans are just some of the most common forms of packaging used in different products that we consume every day. As a result of consumerism, tons of packaging wastes are produced every year and only half of them are recyclable. Additionally, wastes from packaging materials such as plastic make up a huge fraction of the global waste we produce annually. Non-recyclable wastes, therefore, end up in landfills and oceans, hurting the environment to a great extent. Production of these materials also uses an excessive amount of energy and toxic emissions, contributing to the worsening problem of global warming and pollution.
Sustainability does a great deal in being eco-friendly. This means that being eco-friendly isn’t just about shifting to alternative forms of packaging, like using biodegradable materials instead of plastic. To be eco-friendly is to be smart in making choices for the environment. You need to think about how people can maximize the usage of your products before completely throwing them away.
Is your packaging reusable? Is it easy to recycle? How will it affect the environment in the long run? These are the things every business should consider in promoting a green initiative.
Why invest in eco-friendly packaging?
Lesser production costs.
A huge portion of businesses’ budget goes to packaging, making cheaper options such as single-use plastics more favorable to use. But what businesses fail to realize is that opting for more sustainable forms of packaging could save huge production costs in the long run. This would also generate less carbon footprint. For example, more and more pharmaceutical companies today are promoting sustainability by selling vitamins and collagen supplements in eco-friendly packaging. Creating a new product out of recycled resources from previous productions, instead of outsourcing new materials, would likewise effectively cut costs.
Raises brand awareness and reputation.
As more consumers shift to an eco-friendly lifestyle, the search for sustainable companies continues to grow. With the limited number of existing companies promoting environmental-friendly initiatives in the market today, going green would be an advantage and would put your brand in a good place. Moreover, consumers are likely to put their trust in companies that have a solid corporate social responsibility program in place.
Lower shipping costs.
Aside from production costs, using eco-friendly packaging may also minimize businesses’ product shipping expenses. Plastic may weigh less than alternative forms of packaging, but improvising may be able to do the trick. Reducing bottle sizes, getting rid of unnecessary external packaging, or simply making your labels minimal can help lessen your shipping load, as lesser mass makes shipping less expensive. So while your company spends less on distributing products, it also spares the planet from excessive carbon emissions at the same time─that’s two birds with one stone.
Initiates more consumers to go green.
Humans are to blame for the worsening environmental problems that the world is facing today. As people prioritize convenience over sustainability, landfills just keep on filling up with wastes, and marine life continues to become more endangered. But one main reason for the looming problem of wastes on the planet is that people are only given limited opportunities to practice sustainable living. The majority of the things we buy are usually wrapped in single-use plastics or non-reusable packaging.
If more companies would start investing in eco-friendly packaging for their products, it would influence more people to live a greener lifestyle. For instance, shampoo bars and reusable pads are slowly gaining popularity among female consumers nowadays. More and more zero-waste grocery stores and refilling stations are getting loyal customers as well. This just shows that eco-friendly initiatives can benefit businesses.
Businesses, no matter how big or small, have a huge influence over their consumers and their lifestyle, and setting a budget for eco-friendly efforts could offer more benefits than drawbacks for your company, for your consumers, and for the planet.
The problem in packaging waste is just one area to improve among the many environmental issues that exist today. Shifting to more sustainable options may be considered a small step to save the environment, but with collective effort, we can achieve better results.
About the Author:
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.