Thought Leadership by Neil Plant
A recent study by Unilever showed that one third of consumers are now selecting products based on their brand’s social and environmental impact. Millenials, in particular, see a company’s sustainability credentials as a reason to spend more money on a particular product. This sea-change in consumer behaviour has sparked a surge of innovation across the retail sector, in which we are now seeing companies compete for the best and most advanced methods of demonstrating their environmental consciousness.
Breaking new ground
Whether it is retail giant, Nike; creating an app to allow designers to measure the environmental footprint of their different fabrics, or supermarket chains like Tesco; offering savings to customers when they return shopping bags, the focus on greener methods of trade and manufacturing is breaking new ground and swaying customer preference. However, something that is frequently overlooked by many retailers is the packaging that contains their ‘greener’ products. While online shopping continues to rise, so does the use of postage and packaging. According to a study by Dotcom Distribution, 61% of consumers have taken green packaging into account when deciding where to shop – demonstrating that your brand’s choice of packaging can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
Less is more
Switching to greener packaging does not have to be difficult or costly. Some simple changes can make a huge difference to the sustainability of a business.
The first change that a retailer can make is to reduce the current volume of their packaging. Online retailers such as Amazon have come under fire in the past for using large boxes to ship extremely small items – the size of the box vs the size of the product is crucial as it is one of the first things that a customer notices. By using bespoke packaging – tailored to specific products – brands will avoid customer complaints about waste and practicality.
Innovation through strapping
Friction Weld Strapping is another way of reducing packaging waste – these tools eliminate the need for a mechanical metal seal, making the disposal and recycling of the strapping significantly more accessible.
Keeping it together
When considering the sustainability of different kinds of packaging, it can be easy to forget about the item that holds it all together – the tape. Millions of roles of plastic sellotape end up on waste fills every year; Christmas alone saw circa 6 million roles of sellotape purchased in the UK. Gummed paper tape or Water Activated Tape is a great sustainable alternative to plastic tape; not only is it completely degradable, it also does not need to be removed from cardboard packaging to be recycled.
Replacing various types of plastic voidfill with recyclable paper voidfill is a cost-saving way to improve a company’s environmental credentials. According to SKY, 84% of people say that they are worried about plastic pollution – this could be 84% of your client base. We are yet to find out how long it takes for most plastics to decompose; as they have not been around long enough for this happen. It is clear that if we want to make fundamental changes to the way that we look after our planet, then exploring alternative materials should take priority over looking at new ways to dispose of plastic.
Maxpack - Here for you
As key industry players in the packaging sector for over 20 years, we have been able to develop Maxpack’s product range to provide our clients with the confidence that they are using the most sustainable packaging solutions available. Every day we strive to create superior packaging products, happier people, stronger relationships and a greener environment.
Get in touch today by phone: 01743 242900 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org