Technological innovation is a key strategy that ensures a competitive advantage for many businesses. Successful paper and packaging manufacturers are embracing this key business principle, to ‘stay ahead of the curve’ and use environmentally friendly packaging. This week’s blog takes a look at the changing demands that paper and packaging manufacturers face in ensuring their products meet the needs of our ever-changing e-commerce world; with a keen eye on the environmental concerns of the end-users too.
Trends for Environmentally Friendly Packaging and Wrapping
The growth of the ‘earth conscious’ consumer continues to grow, and businesses have had to adapt their business model to satisfy these changing demands for sustainability. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay more for green products, and a company’s green value propositions now form a key tenet of any principles that drive commercial strategy. The packaging industry, with the exponential growth of e-commerce, has not only had to adapt its product offering to meet the changing demands of the sector, but also to ensure that it ticks all of the eco-friendly boxes for the end-users.
Second-life E-commerce Packaging
There are ways to make packaging simple and compact, but innovations bring a ‘second life’ to packaging. Some companies are successfully incorporating the ‘upcycling’ of the packaging that an item has been sent in, into their marketing and communication strategy. Here are a couple of our favorite examples:
Moyha (moyha.com) encourages customers to reuse their packaging boxes and provide a special gift tag to support this. We think this a clever marketing ploy, it sends a very positive ‘green’ message to their customer, and to those potential customers who receive the gift of the branded upcycled items!
Glossier (glossier.com) is a skincare and make-up brand whose focus is on pared down, ‘less is more’ approach to beauty. Their thoughtfully designed packaging – pink bubble zip pouches – were initially intended to keep beauty products sealed in transit but are now up cycled by their customers as make-up bags, or even clutch bags!
Eco-Friendly Cardboard Solutions – Bursting the Bubble!
Bubble wrap packaging, which helps to protect fragile items during shipping, is not the most eco-friendly material given that it is made of plastic. With this in mind, a number of alternatives have been developed, such as a wrap made of up-cycled corrugated cardboard. Instead of disposing or recycling as post-consumer cardboard waste, it can be used as a robust cushioning material, instead of bubble wrap.
For businesses that require packaging – paper and cardboard are some of the most recyclable materials available. To ensure you have environmentally friendly packaging, you can try sourcing post-consumer/post-industrial recycled paper and cardboard. Alternatively, FSC-certified materials sourced from sustainably managed forests can be a better choice in certain circumstances.
The use of environmentally-sound soy-based inks is also growing in popularity in the sector, as an alternative to petroleum-based inks.
Food for Thought: Not just Smart Packaging
What are some of the current trends in eco-friendly food packaging?
- Multi-purpose packaging, with a lid that can convert to a utensil to store food for future use.
- Edible packaging: some companies in the UK are product testing items such as edible cups made from wafer-coated in sugar paper, lined with a heat resistant white chocolate!
- Developing more sustainable materials made from renewable resources like Myco Foam, made from mushrooms to replace fabricated foam packaging used for shipping fragile bottles and containers.
At PG Paper Company, we believe in recycling and upcycling, and the importance of continuously raising awareness of the impact of our consumer choices on global warming and climate change.
PG Paper offers a comprehensive range of recycled paper and cardboard options including FBB, newsprint, copier paper and more. Reach us at [email protected] to discuss your particular order requirements.