The world is facing a growing environmental crisis, and businesses have a social responsibility to do their part and help address it. If you are an entrepreneur, a small but definitely significant way you can do to make a difference is by shifting to sustainable packaging.
What Does Sustainable Packaging Even Mean?
Unlike conventional product packaging that involves single-use plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, sustainable alternatives are designed with the intent of being reusable or recyclable, minimizing the risks of producing excessive waste that will end up polluting landfills or waters.
Eco-friendly packaging is mainly plastic-free and is frequently designed to be lightweight, which can help to reduce shipping emissions. Fortunately, going green in this area is now increasingly doable because of many packaging suppliers making different sustainable packaging options more accessible. Here are some excellent ideas:
- Packaging made from sustainable and renewable resources - As the demand for sustainable packaging increases, there are innovative and eco-friendly options made available including plant-based made from materials that are derived from compostable and biodegradable stuff, such as corn, sugarcane, and bamboo. And what about leaves? We suggest looking closely at Releaf Paper bags as the great example of packaging made from green wastes such as fallen leaves collected from urban territories.
- Recycled paper and cardboard packaging - are usually made from post-consumer waste, which can help overcome rampant waste pollution and conserve our forests at the same time.
- Biodegradable plastics - are made from renewable materials, such as cornstarch or sugarcane. They can be composted or broken down by bacteria, which means that they do not end up in landfills.
- Reusable packaging -Reusable packaging can be used multiple times, which can help to reduce the amount of packaging waste that is produced. Some examples include glass jars, metal cans, and cloth bags. A clever idea would be to offer discounts to customers who will return with their reusable packaging for refills.
The Benefits of Sustainability for Businesses
The beauty of sustainability is that it paves the way for better things, even for businesses. There’s a common misconception that switching to eco-friendly packaging alternatives will unnecessarily complicate processes or make operating costs more expensive. But in reality, with creativity and clever strategizing, it can actually make different aspects of your business more cost-effective and your branding appealing to consumers.
Excellent marketing and PR angle: Consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability, and they are more likely to purchase products from businesses that are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. You can highlight your initiative to switch to eco-friendly packaging in all your traditional and digital marketing campaigns.
Improved corporate social responsibility (CSR): Using sustainable packaging can help to improve your CSR by demonstrating your commitment to environmental protection. This can lead to positive publicity and increased brand awareness.
- Less risk of regulatory compliance issues: As governments around the world introduce new regulations on packaging, businesses that are ahead of the curve will be less likely to be penalized. By switching to sustainable packaging now, you can avoid having to make costly changes to your packaging in the future.
- Increased customer loyalty: Existing customers are more likely to stick with brands that they believe are taking steps to protect the environment. By using sustainable packaging, you can show your current customers that you are committed to sustainability, which can help to retain their business while attracting new customers who are passionate about a zero-waste lifestyle.
How to Save on Costs When Choosing Sustainable Packaging?
Make sustainable product packaging cheaper without sacrificing the quality or environmental benefits of your packaging with these tips:
- Partner with a sustainable packaging company: There are a number of sustainable packaging companies that can help you to find affordable, sustainable packaging options. They can help you to design, source, and manufacture your packaging, and they can also help you to get certified as a sustainable business.
- Shop around for the best prices: There are a number of different sustainable packaging companies out there. It’s not impossible to find a company that offers a lower price for the same quality of packaging.
- Negotiate with your suppliers: If you are already working with a sustainable supplier for your packaging, you may be able to haggle for a lower price for eco-friendly packaging.
- Consider using bulk packaging: If you are shipping large quantities of products, you may be able to save money by using bulk packaging, which is often less expensive than individual packaging.