A growing percentage of consumers prefer to purchase consumables in environmentally friendly packaging. Brands can choose from recyclable, post-consumer recycled, sustainable or even compostable materials. Digital printing with solventless, compostable inks makes it possible to appeal to consumers with stylish package designs. Here are five reasons to bring new products to market in recyclable pouches or switch existing products to sustainable packaging.
Benefits Of Eco-Friendly Packaging
The benefits of eco-friendly packaging such as a check pillow packs start with packing and distribution and continue throughout product life cycles. Lightweight packaging materials such as 100% Polyethylene films require less than half the amount of polymers needed to produce rigid packaging materials. Flexible packaging is also over 20% lighter than rigid alternatives. Reductions in material usage, carton sizes and shipping weights make packaging products in flexible pouches and rollstock more ecologically sound and cost-effective.
Where To Find Eco-Friendly Post Consumer Packaging
The best way to source packaging made out of PCR material is to work with a packaging provider that offers this option. The market for PCR plastic packaging is growing, but services that already provide these materials to consumables brands make it easier to select and design more eco-friendly packaging. Switching to PCR materials is a good way to stay on trend and reduce the carbon footprint of a brand by limiting the use of virgin polymers.
Eco-Friendly Packaging Protects Products and Consumers
A variety of eco-friendly films are available, including high-barrier films that protect sensitive contents from exposure to oxygen and water vapor. When products are packaged in moisture-resistant packaging materials that are also recycleable, brands and consumers both stand to benefit. The production process for this type of packaging should involve sustainable printing with compostable polymer-based inks and solventless lamination to keep volatile organic compounds out of packaged goods.
More Customers Consider Responsible Disposal Options
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the overall rate of recycling in 2018 was just over 32%, up from just 15% in 1990. Studies indicate that these rates are continuing to rise, especially with the introduction of easy-to-use programs such as How2Recycle Store Drop-Off. In 2018, the recycling rate for plastics as a percentage of generation was just 9%, but these programs are poised to increase rates of responsible disposal.
Eco-Friendly Packaging Can Increase Sales
Many brands design Mylar bags custom to present consumers with high-resolution text and photo-quality graphics. In addition to allowing for stylish packaging, the use of recyclable materials can lead consumers to select one brand over another. A recent study of 15,000 consumers in Europe, North America and South America indicated that two-thirds of participants consider the use of recyclable packaging when purchasing products.
Considering the entire lifecycle of a product is the first step to measuring and taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of any consumables brand. By factoring in resource use and waste production at every stage of production and consumption, brands that sell consumer packaged goods can make more environmentally conscious decisions about sourcing, production, packaging and recommended disposal methods.