The future of sustainable packaging looks bright. Companies, consumers and advocacy groups are becoming more conscientious. However, sustainable packaging will have its greatest positive impact from the consumer. What can consumers do and what can companies do to help educate consumers about corrugated packaging boxes?
How can we make packaging sustainable. The global packaging market is currently worth 500 billion euros, serving multiple industries and organizations. The main industries which rely on packaging are food and beverage companies. Given the increasing awareness of consumers and the increased awareness on environmental pollutants, sustainability has become a leading issue for everyone involved in the packaging supply chain. Everyone from custom packaging designers, to retailers, to consumers have taken notice of the environmental impact of waste. This trend is only increasing. Companies are much more sensitive to impacts on their brand. As consumers in emerging economies become more affluent, they’re becoming more environmentally conscious.
What Exactly Can Consumers Do?
Consumers can do many things to reduce their packaging footprint; such as sorting recycle packaging and partaking in composting initiatives in their communities. Changes will ultimately be made at the company level but consumers have a duty to speak out and demand change. Retailers and packaging companies are engaging more with consumers than in previous years. Social media is an avenue that will help consumers have a voice and demand change.
Many companies have made sustainability a priority as more and more consumers demand change. One of the main drivers of sustainability has been innovation. Companies are using increasingly more innovative techniques to bring about change. Corrugated box innovation and retail packaging innovation is leading the charge.
One area of research is in lightweight packaging design. Lightweight packaging design tries to reduce the amount and weight of packaging while maintaining the strength of the package.
Another area of packaging design that is becoming more prominent is compostable solutions. Packaging that has the ability to compost means it doesn’t end up in the landfill. This will decrease the amount of volume in landfills and the difficulty in managing landfill volumes.
Lastly there are strides being made in food barrier research. Preventing food from spoiling and keeping food fresh will help ensure less food waste. Although food waste isn’t directly related to packaging this is an example of how environmentally conscious packaging can have an indirect impact on other forms of waste.
The future of sustainability does indeed look bright but consumers must help influence companies to make positive change and consumers must also make smart choices when it comes to recycling and composting.