The need for sustainable packaging is growing among manufacturers. More and more, they are being asked to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills each year. But, at the same time, they’d like to make a difference in a way that’s easy and cost-effective. Eco-friendly packaging may be a key solution in both regards.
Though it’s not the only one, manufacturers increasingly choose eco-friendly packaging that cuts down on materials. Today, there are recycled polymers that imitate traditional plastics almost perfectly. As a result, they can provide a host of benefits for manufacturers looking to reduce landfill waste while minimizing costs.
Why is Eco-Friendly Packaging Important?
The need to reduce landfill waste has existed for years. With each passing day, however, the dream of sustainability becomes more and more critical to manufacturers. This is especially true as consumers become increasingly aware of the impact their products have on the planet.
One area where this awareness is most evident is in packaging. After all, it’s the first thing customers see when they look at a product. It’s also something that consumers interact with after the purchase, so being wasteful is not an option. Manufacturers are thus searching for eco-friendly packaging ideas that will help them achieve sustainability goals without turning customers away.
There are two primary reasons why eco-friendly packaging is becoming so important:
The need to go green
Every day citizens and manufacturers alike are concerned about the environmental impact of their actions. It’s no longer enough to do business responsibly. Companies must also demonstrate that they actively care about our planet. Sustainable practices have become paramount in almost all the paintings of glass bottles industry, not just manufacturing or energy production.
As part of that shift, the use of eco-friendly packaging has become more than common sense. It’s now expected behaviour in many markets. As a result, manufacturers who don’t go green are at risk of missing out on market opportunities faster than ever before.
The pressure to reduce landfill waste
Recycling is a well-known environmental benefit. It uses less energy and creates fewer greenhouse gasses than manufacturing from new materials. However, many people don’t realize that recycling isn’t the whole picture.
Studies have shown that up to 40% of recyclable material goes into landfills every year in North America alone. In most cases, this is because of contamination. For example, a milk carton rinsed out but not thoroughly dried can still contain milk residue. This residue makes it difficult or impossible for recycling plants to reuse the materials.
As a result, eco-friendly packaging is important in two ways:
- First, it reduces landfill waste by cutting down on materials.
- It ensures that recyclable materials get recycled, helping to reduce greenhouse gasses further.
Eco-friendly packaging & the benefits it offers
Eco-friendly packaging has three main advantages: lower costs, fewer materials, and greater recycling efficiency. These all benefit manufacturers in different ways. They each help reduce the financial and environmental impact of doing business.
Many manufacturers have found that using recycled polymers is a more cost-effective solution than traditional plastics. In some cases, they can be 25% cheaper on a per-unit basis. For businesses with large quantities of packaging to buy, this difference quickly becomes significant.
Since eco-friendly packaging of a juice glass bottle uses recycled polymers, it requires less material. This reduces the cost of manufacturing and shipping products. It also cuts down on transportation costs (since fewer trucks are needed to transport the same amount).
Greater recycling efficiency
Manufacturers who use eco-friendly packaging may cut down on landfill waste and reduce greenhouse gasses. But, they also help recycling plants do their job more efficiently. In addition, the recycled materials found in eco-friendly packaging are often easier to reuse than traditional plastics. As a result, manufacturers may save money while making the world a better place.
Infographic provided by Eagle Flexible Packaging, a sustainable flexible packaging company
The ways manufacturers support eco-friendly packaging
There are three main ways manufacturers can support eco-friendly packaging: use recycled polymers instead of traditional plastics, choose green suppliers, and conduct their recycling efforts.
Use recycled materials where possible
The first step for manufacturers looking to support eco-friendly packaging is obvious: stop using traditional plastics as often as possible. This not only reduces landfill waste and transportation costs. It also reduces the environmental impact of doing business on a per-unit basis.
More than that, choosing recycled materials as your default option can reduce the upfront cost of production. This is because recycled polymers cost less than traditional plastics.
To make sure recycled plastics live up to their potential, manufacturers need to ensure clean and contaminant-free. Manufacturers who buy dirty materials waste money, energy, and time on production costs. Contaminants also make it much harder for recycling plants to reuse the material. As a result, nearly 25% of recyclable material ends up in landfills. For manufacturers looking to support eco-friendly packaging, the result is a big problem.
Choose suppliers that offer green packaging options
Just as crucial as using recycled materials yourself is finding suppliers who do the same. Smaller operations or local businesses may be less likely to have much in the way of recycling programs. They may also lack the resources to make sure their recycled materials are clean and contaminant-free.
As a result, it can be challenging for these suppliers to meet high standards for eco-friendly packaging. Larger businesses often have better recycling programs. Using recycled polymers as a default option rather than an exception makes them more attractive to customers. Regardless of what you give clients, focus on selecting the correct design and packaging for cannabis, food, or other cosmetic items since it can influence potential customers’ purchase decisions.
Conduct in-house recycling efforts
No matter the size of your business, taking steps to reduce landfill waste can have a significant impact. It can also be an important step toward supporting eco-friendly packaging in the long run.
One way manufacturers can do this is by conducting their recycling efforts. This may involve collecting used parts/materials and sending them to recycling plants. It can also involve collecting materials from suppliers before they reach the plant. This gives manufacturers more control over what happens with their recycled products, leading to higher quality materials for manufacturing new products.
Manufacturers can take steps to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. They do this by choosing recycled materials whenever possible, supporting suppliers that go green, and conducting recycling efforts internally.
Using eco-friendly packaging is one of the most effective ways for businesses to support sustainable practices in their industry. The benefits can include lower transportation costs, greater recycling efficiency, and overall environmental impact. But, manufacturers also need to find suppliers willing to go green if they want to see actual results.