Packaging is Speeding Toward Sustainability
Plastic packaging has got to go, and many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) have already made the transition to sustainable materials for a more eco-friendly product. Not only are companies switching to more eco-friendly materials, but a new report also shows that 56% of CPGs are transitioning to new package formats to improve recycling.
Switching to sustainable packaging alternatives boasts positive environmental impact — keeping plastic out of landfills and oceans, using renewable resources, and zero-waste processes, to name a few. But sustainable packaging has commercial benefits as well.
A new report from Trivium packaging shows that 74 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging alternatives. Nearly half of consumers shy away from environmentally harmful packaging, according to the same report.
Another report from the Flexible Packaging Association shows that sustainable products in the U.S. made up $113.9 billion in sales in 2018, a 29 percent increase from 2013. Sustainable products have reported growth, on average, that is 5.6 times faster than non-sustainable products.
When it comes to transitioning from plastic packaging to more sustainable solutions, it is not as simple as switching out a plastic component for a biodegradable counterpart. Often a design refresh or complete redesign is necessary to best incorporate sustainable material and reduce or eliminate non-recyclable components.
While introducing a sustainable packaging redesign may be an exciting opportunity for some brands to expand their market, changing the format of a product’s packaging can add challenges. Such challenges include securing flexible machinery able to handle recycled materials and testing new materials.
“One of our main challenges is communicating the up and downsides of implementing sustainable packaging with CPGs to help make them aware of the impact at all levels of their organization,” a Packaging Services Director told PackWorld.
Another industry-wide challenge to sustainable packaging implementation is having the proper machinery — a machine created to mold plastic may not be able to handle recycled material with completely different properties.
All of these issues are not necessarily barriers to becoming more sustainable, however — and many companies have already used them as opportunities for creative problem solving and innovation.
Material innovations are emerging such as recyclable barrier layers that give sustainable packaging similar preservative properties to plastic, renewable-plant based materials, and edible membranes.
The packaging industry is moving toward sustainability as plastic becomes more and more outdated. At Golden Arrow, our molded plant fiber packaging offers a sustainable and luxurious solution, so that your luxury brand can confidently transition to a greener model without compromising on form or presentation. Learn more at https://www.goldenarrow.com/eng/services.