How does Unsustainable Packaging pollute our planet and your local community?
- Unsustainable packaging creates problems from the moment it is created. According to foodprint.org, it is very common for many chemicals to be used in the creation of unsustainable packaging which releases greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause for climate change and the more emissions there are, the more climate change rises. Another issue when creating unsustainable packaging is the release of toxins in surrounding waters.
- Besides the pollution from the beginning of the life cycle of unsustainable packaging, there is also pollution created from the use of the packaging. Unsustainable packaging is not able to be recycled or decomposed in anyway. This lack of environmentally friendliness means that if someone litters it will dirty the Earth and become harmful to the surrounding environment, and all unsustainable packaging that is not thrown away recklessly, ends up in a landfill.
- Even if packaging is in a landfill, the planet is not safe. The wind and water in the surrounding area can carry the toxins and trash from the landfill into any areas nearby. The landfill can also contaminate groundwater. Many times, the toxins will seep into the ground and eventually reach the groundwater and contaminate it before use.
- Unsustainable packaging affects humans, the planet, and animals. Humans are affected by unknowingly eating and drinking food with microplastics and other potential toxins. The plant, as previously mentioned, is harmed by the greenhouse gases resulting from the creation of unsustainable packaging. Finally, animals take a large hit as well. From the deepest parts of the ocean to the highest parts of the sky to any and all types of terrain, all animals are affected by the use of unsustainable packaging. Animals die from ingesting too many microplastics and toxins introduced into their ecosystem.
- Overall, unsustainable packaging benefits no one. Even the air around landfills is dangerous because they frequently emit ammonia and hydrogen sulfides. The incinerators at land fills are as dangerous for the air as the landfill itself. Incinerators are known to emit mercury, lead, hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxides, nitrous oxides, and particulates (foodprint.org).
- Some examples of unsustainable packaging to watch for are Styrofoam or plastic foam, oxo-plastics, and other non-recyclable, and non-compostable material combinations.
What are Sustainable Alternatives for Packaging?
- One thing that can be changed is the label type used for food products. Instead of using paper labels for your compostable packaging, you can invest in plant-based labels certified compostable. For example, instead of using paper, foodnavigator.com states that many are using crop waste such as apple skins, avocado peels, and mango pips.
- Another way to improve the packaging of the food industry and integrate sustainable packaging is by using recycled materials instead of making using virgin plastics. By using recycled materials, you still get durability without creating new toxins in the environment by making new plastic. Reuse, reduce, and recycle!
- There are many different materials, material combinations and types of packaging you can use to market better and more responsibly.
Where to go for expert consultation?
- Your business has a sustainable plan, and you want to reduce the environmental impact through conscious packaging. What comes next?
- The best thing you can do to navigate the complexities of packaging sustainability is to work with an independent consultant who can provide guidance, knowledge and ongoing support from sourcing to implementation.
- It is important to trust someone who can think outside the box, but at the same time understands the technical needs of your product to protect its integrity through distribution channels.
- A packaging consultant communicates all specifications effectively between your business and packaging vendors and graphic designers to help you accelerate your sustainable packaging project.
What will Sustainable Packaging do for Your Business?
- By changing your packaging into a more sustainable option, you will gain more customers, retain customers once they begin buying your products, and gain more sales. This was discussed in our previous Blog. You can check more details on this link: See Here.
- Another study from 2020 by Shorr Packaging found that more people began paying attention to their products’ packaging being sustainable during the pandemic and about 58% reported that they would be “likely” or “very likely” to choose products that have sustainable and recyclable packaging materials (2021 Global Buying Green Report).
- Although some may think the desire for sustainability is a recent trend, it is actually not. As early as 2014 there have been research studies looking into the consumers’ trends and what encourages consumers to choose one place over another.
- Sustainablebrands.com shared the results of a Horizon Media study completed in 2014. The results showed that 81% of millennials expected companies to make public commitments to good corporate citizenship.
- Another report released by the Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report showed that 66% of consumers were willing to pay more for a product from companies and brands that are committed to environmentally friendly practices, such as sustainable packaging. So there is obviously no reason to worry about the desire for sustainable packaging to be a trend. That desire has been shown for many years and is only growing.
- In fact, previously it was stated that a better way to use plastic is to use recycled materials to invest in sustainable packaging, and research has supported this from a consumer’s point of view. Prnewswire.com shared a survey completed by SK Group, a South Korean organization that operates within at least 10 states in the US, that shared about 72% of Americans were more likely to give preference to products that used recycled materials instead of other products that created unnecessary air pollution in their creation.
- There are many reasons you should choose to switch to sustainable packaging. You would support our planet’s biodiversity, your local community, and you would help your business. However, the change is not easy. You will need someone you trust to guide you through deciding the right packaging material for your business and how to implement it into your business plan. You will need someone who has knowledge and experience in the business world, as well as the packaging industry. Without the knowledge of business and the packaging industry, a person cannot truly help your business to its’ full sustainable potential. Only knowing part of a whole will not benefit your business because the person will only be able to provide support and help from one viewpoint. As the world changes and consumer demand for environmentally friendly options, including packaging, grow exponentially, you will definitely want and need another person with plenty of experience and both viewpoints to lead your business into the future of packaging.
- Maru Braemer is the Founder of MB Consulting and she is an expert in this field who understands the complexities of the produce and food industry. Her expertise is focused on getting the best sustainable packaging for your business that will help you gain new customers, maintain customer loyalty, help the environment, and produce more sales. MB Consulting provides transparent consultation with a technical partner you can count on to assist meeting the rising consumer demand of sustainable packaging.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your project. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible. We work with small and medium size growers, food processors, independent retailers and food service clients. We look forward to working with you!