Going “green” is quickly becoming a necessity in today’s product packaging environment among a wide range of industries. As April is Earth Month, we’re turning our focus to sustainability. Packaging Digest recently released the reports of their 9-year Sustainable Packaging Study in partnership with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. As sustainability has evolved and shifted over the years, they’ve added in specific “hot-topic” areas covering eco-efficiency, bio-based materials and more. We’ve highlighted a few sections of their study below.
Sustainable Packaging is not a Fad
Packaging professionals continue to be enthusiastically engaged with sustainability as things shift in emphasis from end-of-life to full lifecycle. Many organizations are also much more knowledgeable and further ahead in implementing sustainable packaging strategies as well.
“Many of the same tactics are applied today as before, such as lightweighting, use of renewable materials, increased amount of recycled content and recyclable packaging. In fact, recyclable packaging remains at the top of the list of environmental marketing claims for brand owners based on its importance with their customers.”
Sustainable Packaging Trends
Sustainable packaging designs are more important than ever but sustainability encompasses much more than just the package. Goals have shifted from end-of-life (such as recycling) to full lifecycle (such as carbon emissions) impacting things like water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the common sustainable packaging trends we can expect to see even more of this year include:
- Downsizing/lightweighting of packaging
- Increased use of recycled content
- Clearer labeling to clarify sustainability claims and increase transparency
- Increased use of renewably sourced materials
- Improvements in packaging and logistical efficiency
Biggest Challenges to Sustainable Packaging
Of the top challenges voiced about sustainable packing, companies reported cost concerns, misunderstandings and incorrect popular perceptions of sustainability. But as the demand for sustainable packaging increases with focus on health and environmental conscious practices is driving the market for greener packaging.
“With every health scare—like the recent Zika virus—consumers become more aware of the products they are consuming and the packages those products come in. Packaging material suppliers should proactively market their benign products—but make sure they use science to substantiate the claim. On the path to developing innovative sustainable packages, the type of material and its safety needs to be adequately demonstrated.”
Sustainable Packaging with Hughes
One of your responsibilities as a company is to find the right packaging and shipping operation for your products. Read more in our blog about the advantages of using eco-friendly packaging.
At Hughes Enterprises, we pride ourselves on the wide variety of eco-friendly products and integrated packaging systems that help customers go green. Our sustainable packaging line consists of over 70 products that are proven to work, priced competitively and most importantly, safe for people and the environment! Contact Hughes to do a sustainability audit on your packaging and find out where you can cut your carbon footprint.