How Can Manufacturers Support Eco-Friendly Packaging?

Climate change has taken a drastic turn in the current years. With industries emerging and thriving over the past decades, environment friendliness is the need of the hour. With eco-friendly packaging being in the talks for decades now, what once was called a luxury is now a necessity.

More and more organisations and corporations are striving towards eco-friendly packaging over the years. Want to know why? Let us, therefore, delve into this article without further ado!

What is sustainable packaging?

Without proper knowledge of the subject matter at hand, we cannot choose to work upon it. Before knowing about the implementation thus, we should first understand what sustainable packaging really means.

The very act of initiating a packaging process that furthers eco-friendly sustainability is what we call sustainable packaging. This packaging leaves a minimal environmental impact and does not harm or waste natural resources through over-usage. 

Take, for instance, the usage of paper courier bags instead of plastic ones for small packages, or selling mouthwash in glass bottles instead of cheaper, non-degradable plastic ones. The world will start to look like a better place, right?

Why should manufacturers turn to eco-friendly packaging?

Increases customer loyalty-

Sustainable packaging shows the social and environmental concerns of the company. As an environment-friendly company in an industry that enhances pollution each day, your reputation among customers will reach high ground. You are most likely to get customer loyalty if you stand up for environmental causes and act upon them.

Multiple pieces of research around the world come to reveal that customers are somewhat willing to spend those extra dollars if the company is striving towards creating a plastic-free environment.

Enables Low-cost shipping –

As should be evident from the procedure of manufacture and cost of transportation and delivery, packages that are comparatively smaller in size provide great sustainability. Shipping charges, therefore, are inadvertently reduced.

Take, for example, delivering a package that weighs around 3 kilograms from California to Florida costs around 30 dollars in shipping. However, fitting the exact same product in a smaller and more lightweight package lowers the rate to something around 25 dollars. That is a lot!

 

Efficient, reduced and compact storage-

Lowering the number of materials used for packaging and shrinking waste products are two of the most essential aspects of eco-friendly packaging. If implemented in the correct manner, this form of packaging may lead to a more optimized storage system so as to limit the space that is needed to store products. This, in turn, reduces the costs required for storage and opens up more room for additional storage.

 

The necessity of producing eco-friendly packaging-

Durable- 

The materials that are firm and powerful inbuilt will support down gauging as well as give way for converters to process the material, thereby reducing the scale of waste and damaged products. Convenient packaging is the result of this procedure, something that is smaller and improvised without compromising value or protection.

Producibility- 

Durability also gives way for easy processing. Materials that can be easily processed will definitely produce improvised output. These can help minimise certain manufacturing costs such as manual and mechanical labour, waste and overall production costs.

The three Rs of waste management- 

The process of using the waste itself as a resource for manufacturing lets you cut the cost of new resources, saving you capital. This also sends out a positive message and does well for the branding of the company as an environment-conscious establishment.

Product weight- 

A lot depends on the weight of the produced materials. This includes transportation and packaging. The most optimal products for transportation and distribution are lightweight products, for the weight of products determines the speed and time required for transport. 

While a hundred thousand tons of packaging items are processed and used by companies each year, lowering down the weight of these materials can prove beneficial for your cost-cutting as well as the environment.

Strategies to implement for eco-friendly packaging-

  1. Reduce product weight – 

As mentioned above, shipping in lesser quantity lessens one’s ecological footprint on any given biocapacity. Essentially using smaller packaging is ideal for the company.

  1. Educate your consumers- 

The customers need to have clear instructions or information as to what to reuse and what to recycle. Clearly label your products so that the customers can dispose of them accordingly.

Many companies in recent days have implemented this strategy and have gained credibility for the same. Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day is the biggest example.

  1. Use edible materials for packaging – 

Packaging made out of polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids can be termed edible packaging. These are used to create a constant coating around the package.

Edible packaging is a great addition to the food market. Narayana Peesapathy from Hyderabad, for example, created Bakeys in 2011 and changed the climate of eco-friendly packaging in India.

  1. Biodegradable packaging – 

Also considered as plantable packaging, the materials used for this packaging do more good than harm. The customers may literally bury the waste package after use only for it to grow into a tree thereafter. Biodegradable packaging provides a great alternative for plastic products.

  1. Corrugated packaging – 

These are some of the most reused and recycled products in the chain, making this form of packaging the most desirable for companies that strive for sustainability.

Things to know before trying out these strategies-

Even though the given alternatives are lucrative and eco-friendly at best, you still need to consider a few things before implementing them in full fledge:

Have trials and errors before implementing: 

Let the transition be smooth, you do not need to change your whole packaging machinery at once. Since quality management becomes an important issue, take one step at a time. Implement one or two alternatives before trying out everything. Let the process sink in and wait for positive results.  

Start with a small quantity- 

Begin by bringing in packaging products in small volumes before going full-scale. You need to see how it is working with the customers and how much profit it is bringing you. Make sure more revenue is coming in than going out.

With all this in mind, we’re all thumbs up for your future business endeavours. May you go green and make lives better, healthier and happier. 

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