Traditionally, plastic packaging has always been a very cost-effective, convenient and versatile packaging solution. Plastic is lightweight, easy to customize, can be durable and plays an important role in protecting products.
However, with reports of plastic waste accumulating in oceans and landfills, the need for recyclable and reusable packaging solutions has accelerated dramatically. With that being said, plastic packaging can actually do even more harm and can destroy your company’s image.
Continue reading to find out how!
New Research Findings
Earlier this year, Trivium Packaging and Boston Consulting Group (BDC) released a report on the topic of sustainable packaging. The report discusses consumer preferences, specifically their willingness to pay more for products with environmentally-friendly packaging.
The report is largely based on a survey which was conducted by BDC and includes responses from more than 15,000 U.S., Europe and South American consumers.
Key findings within the report indicate the following:
- A majority of consumers identify themselves as environmentally friendly
- More than two out of three respondents deem recyclable packaging to be very important
- 74% of consumers said they would pay more for sustainable packaging, of which one-fourth are willing to pay for an increased cost of 10% or more
- Nearly 50% of consumers shy away from harmful packaging, of which 68% associate plastics with ocean pollution
Based on this data it’s clear that nowadays consumers are more aware about their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, they are more aware of their impact on a brand and how they can help bring about change. This is largely due to the increase in media coverage of the environmental impacts of pollution.
“With relatively low post-consumer recycling rates, single use plastic continue to have a negative environmental impact. In recent years, research has shown that approximately 79 percent of plastic accumulates in landfills or the environment.”Jenny Wassenaar, Vice President Sustainability, Trivium Packaging
Millennials are Influencing Packaging Decisions
Similarly, Evergreen Packaging has also published a paper discussing results from the 2019 EcoFocus Trends Survey focusing on millennials’ interest in sustainable food packaging. The survey studied four thousand adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years old.
Millennials were born in the years of 1981 to 1996 and are currently 24 to 39 years old. In comparison to previous generations, millennials are better educated, which is a factor that is tied to better employment and financial well-being. Moreover, they’re tech savvy, influential and take up a lot of market share.
Key takeaways within the paper include:
- 68% of millennials feel that foods and beverages with healthier ingredient lists should use packaging materials that are ‘healthier’ too
- The least favourable food packaging materials are plastic trays, styrofoam trays, and styrofoam cups
- 77% of respondents are easily influenced by a company’s commitments to reducing pollution
- Nearly 75% of millennials want companies to do a better job of telling them how to recycle or dispose of a package and make the information more available on packaging labels
Based on the data, it is clear that millennials put a significantly higher priority on sustainability. They will choose to reward brands and businesses that understand how to align packaging with their eco-centric needs.
P&G’s Efforts Towards Sustainability
With an increasing number of eco conscious buyers, it’s very important for businesses to adapt their packaging to match newer trends and maintain a positive company image.
Plastic is no longer a favourable option since most consumers negatively associate plastic with the environment, pollution and waste.
As a result, large corporations need to transition away from single use plastics. This includes straws, grocery bags or plastic water bottles to keep up and remain consistent with new trends.
For example, consider Proctor & Gamble. To address the issue of sustainability, P&G has announced as of May 2020 that it will be testing the first all-paper tube package for select Old Spice and Secret aluminum-free deodorants.
The tube package is made up of 90% recycled paper and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, It features a “push up” design as a replacement to P&G’s plastic stick deodorant cannisters.
P&G plans to complete recyclability testing this fall. During this time, if the packaging design is successful, P&G plans on expanding the new package across more of its line-up.
This is a good move on the company’s part to maintain a positive company image because it’s proactively promoting the values of its buyers through these actions.
Likewise, small businesses can avoid negative publicity, maintain and develop their market value with alternative packaging solutions. Examples of good plastic alternatives include Kraft paper bags, recycled cardboard and reusable bags.
What Can You Do?
Here at LeKAC, we understand the importance company image has over a brand, its value and sales. We take pride in offering eco-friendly custom packaging solutions.
With each new generation, the individuals will only become more aware of their impact on the environment, climate change, and a brand’s bottom line. If they associate you with only wanting to earn money and not caring about your impact on the world, it won’t go over well.
It’s important to share our environment responsibly and take care of it in any way we can. With the advancement of technology, more and more plastic alternatives are being developed at reasonable prices. It’s also easy for a company to go out of business by word-of-mouth, so don’t let that happen to you because of something that’s avoidable!
If you’re in the position to transition or develop more sustainable packaging for your products, don’t wait. Our in-house design specialists can assist you in selecting the best packaging solution while being mindful of your wallet.
Contact us today for a free consultation!