Nowadays, a majority of businesses are switching to eco-friendly packaging. As a result, the green packaging movement is likely to stick around for the next couple of years.
But is the switch really worth it? What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?
Let’s find out..
Helping the environment is simply one benefit of using eco-friendly packaging, but the truth is there’s a lot more it offers!
- Reduces your carbon foot print
Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that are released in the environment as a result of human activities.
Since eco-friendly packaging uses recycled waste material, it reduces the consumption of raw heavy-energy resources. In turn, the production of eco-packaging releases fewer carbon emissions.
In addition to reducing your carbon foot print, green packaging offers an advantage even in its last stage! Depending on the material in use, the packaging will break down in industrial composting facilities.
- Zero toxins and allergens
Unlike traditional packaging which is made from synthetic and petrochemical materials, most bio-degradable packaging is non-toxic and uses allergy free materials. This reduces environmental burden and can allow your customers to live a healthier lifestyle.
As a matter of fact, did you know that when you add heat to petrochemical products such as Styrofoam, they release toxic chemicals into the food which causes harm to one’s health? This can be avoided when you switch to eco-friendly packaging such as paper takeout boxes!
In addition to environmental advantages, there are economic ones that can benefit your business as well!
- Versatile uses
Depending on the material in use, you can reuse and repurpose eco-friendly materials several times to create multiple products for different industries.
For example, bamboo fibres are easily malleable to create not only cutlery, but takeout containers and makeup packaging as well!
- Improves brand image
As more people become environmentally conscious, they are constantly seeking out ways to make a positive impact on the environment without making any major changes in their existing lifestyle.
As a result, when you switch to green packaging, it can drastically improve your brand.
On the other hand, when you continue to use plastic packaging, it can actually do even more harm and can destroy your company’s image. Interested in finding out why? Be sure to read our blog post!
- Reduces costs
By switching to eco-friendly materials, you can successfully reduce packaging waste by cutting down on excessive space. Moreover, unlike heavy-energy resources, eco-friendly packaging is lightweight.
In turn, you can successfully reduce shipping and overhead costs!
- Expands customer base
Last but not least, eco-friendly packaging can help you expand your customer base and attract new customers.
In the beginning of 2020, Trivium Packaging and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a report on the topic of sustainable packaging. The report largely bases itself on a survey that was conducted by BCG and includes responses from more than 15,000 U.S., Europe and South American consumers.
Within the report, they found that 74% of consumers said they would pay more for sustainable packaging!
Similarly, papers published by Evergreen Packaging notes an upward trend in consumer preferences towards green packaging as well.
Consequently, this is an opportunity for you to push your company as an environmentally conscious organization!
The Cons to Eco-friendly Packaging
Given that there are a lot of advantages to green packaging, it’s important to consider their cons as well!
First of all, the cost of switching can be expensive for many small businesses. In some cases, the switch to using green materials can lead to higher costs in your production process or elsewhere in your operations.
Likewise, although green packaging can bring cost savings in the long run, it’s difficult to anticipate at what point that’ll happen.
Another criticism for many eco-friendly packaging materials is that they require the cultivation of crops. For example, corn-starch packaging, better known as PLA comes from corn.
Corn in itself is a renewable and cost effective crop. However, the use of it in packaging is criticized by those who feel it can serve a better purpose to help alleviate poverty and hunger.
Lastly, the materials in use can effectively breakdown only if disposed of correctly. There’s a high risk of cross-contamination when these products end up in recycling facilities.
The cross-contamination can impact the recyclability of other products and result in even more waste than intended.
So is it worth it?
Taking into account the pros and cons, going green can be a worthwhile business pursuit.
The concern for social responsibility is already being reflected in the shift in consumer preferences to more sustainable food and household products. Going green may help your business expand, improve its brand image, and result in increased revenue!
Nonetheless, it costs time and capital investment. Going completely green may not be economically feasible or meet your current needs.
Moreover, social responsibility can really only be achieved if packaging is properly disposed of!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preferences!
Here at LeKAC, we understand at times this can be a difficult decision to make. Whether you choose to make the complete switch or would like to start with small changes, we’re here to support you!
Our experienced packaging specialists can help the decision-making process easier by taking into account your individual needs and wallet.
Interested in finding out more? Contact us today for a free consultation,