New trends in sustainable packaging

Published by Appetite Creative

To ensure life on earth for future generations and to make it worth living, we need to pay more attention to the environment. Many people are already trying to change their behaviour by, for example, driving less and using public transport, recycling, using solar energy, buying electric cars, and more.

Accordingly, the packaging industry is also changing and trying to use less plastic to stop the pollution of oceans and other ecosystems. The changeover to less plastic packaging is necessary because almost 40% of all plastics are used for this purpose. A large part of this ends up in the ocean and forms the basic building block for plastic soup. Recycling is probably the best way to positively change the packaging industry.

For manufacturers, ensuring recycling is more complicated than one might imagine. Packaging must meet specific requirements, such as separability, cleanliness, labelling and colouring. But waste can only be recycled if it is sorted by type. If waste is not sorted correctly, it is up to the companies to assort the trash properly. This process costs money and a lot of energy, which harms the environment.

Up next, you will find five popular sustainability trends that companies are following to maintain general demand while helping reduce their harm to the environment:

- Less packaging in general:

Reducing plastic can be achieved by minimising packaging. Of course, these have a purpose to fulfil. They ensure durability, hygiene, and protection for the product from damage. But manufacturers are already trying to eliminate unnecessary packaging. Products whose quality remains without packaging can simply go on sale unpackaged.

- Turn single-use into multi-use:

Single-use plastic products are arguably the most harmful form of plastic use. It leads to the burning of plastic waste, marine pollution and the creation of harmful microplastics.

The fact is: the more often a product is used, the lower its environmental impact.

Cotton shopping bags or reusable stainless-steel cups, mugs or tableware are already attractive improvements for society.

Switching to reusable products is not only crucial for the environment but can also be cost-effective as, for example, storage costs are eliminated.

- Replace the plastic with paper:

The material is renewable and organic, which means it can decompose completely. So at first glance, it seems like a good idea to make the switch between plastic and paper but take into account that the overall environmental impact, apart from the CO2 footprint, is even higher for paper, as companies require many times more mass from it than plastic to achieve similar results. Also, paper is not leak-proof and does not protect products from spoilage, as well as plastic. So, if you are thinking of switching to paper, it must be for small and simple packaging products, and preferably not for food or drinks.

- Switch to mono-materials:

A major problem in achieving recyclability is that packaging is made of multiple materials. Product packaging that consists of only one basic material makes it easier for both the producer and the consumer to ensure clean recycling.

- The customer is the key:

Educating customers on how to use and dispose of packaging responsibly is essential. There is the possibility to provide consumers with all the necessary information to learn how to dispose of the product by using a QR code connected experience on the package. This way, the customer shares the responsibility for the recycling process, and a continuous and clean waste separation can also ensure the reuse of the materials.

There is a long way to go before the packaging industry is fully sustainable. But it is also important to keep working and looking for new ideas and technologies that help us achieve this goal.

Appetite Creative can help your business take the first step in the right direction: We develop QR codes and connected experiences. Making sure that your customers get the right information in a fun and engaging way. Contact us today to set up a call.

If you want to learn more about sustainable packaging, join our webinar on "Connected Packing and Sustainability goals for 2023!" Sign up HERE. Also, you can read more about sustainability HERE.


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