Over recent years the packaging market has seen a significant rise in demand for sustainable alternatives. Concern about single-use plastic waste and changes in consumer attitudes are just some of the trends that have accelerated this drive for change within the industry. The Global Buying Green Report conducted by Trivium Packaging in 2020 found that 53% of consumers are actively looking for sustainability or recycling information on packaging as businesses adapt their operations to meet such demands.
In addition to this growing consumer demand, many brands are also turning their attention to sustainable packaging as the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and carbon footprint reduction increases.
A Rise in Consumer Demand
This shift in consumer attitude toward sustainable packaging and the environment has significantly increased in recent years, with Covid-19 one of the leading reasons for this change. In 2021, Mastercard conducted a global study on consumer attitudes toward the environment after Covid-19, with 58% of consumers saying they are now more mindful of their environmental impact after Covid-19.
Increased news coverage through social media platforms opened the eyes of consumers to issues such as climate change and environmental impact, with many shocking revelations impacting future purchasing decisions. Covid-19 has not only influenced consumer perception of the environment, but it has also resulted in consumers seeking products with less packaging. Since the pandemic, 64% of consumers are prepared to shop elsewhere if it means less packaging.
Heightened Sense of Corporate Social Responsibility
A focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has never been as important as it is today. As climate-related issues continue to be a leading global talking point, companies are now focusing their efforts on decreasing their environmental impact. As a result, there has been a rise in consumer loyalty towards companies who showcase a sense of care towards CSR, as 94% of Gen-Z feel companies should focus on addressing social and environmental issues.
Companies incorporating sustainable packaging into their business strategy is just one of the ways to communicate their efforts to address such issues, with more businesses now pushing toward introducing sustainable packaging alternatives in order to stay in line with consumer requirements.
Reduction in Carbon Footprint
With growing concern around their environmental impact, brands are now heavily focusing on ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The Paris Agreement, a legally binding contract on climate change, was introduced in 2015 to help keep global temperatures below 2 degrees. Several countries have now committed to this cause by setting net-zero targets, with a business commitment to eliminating their emissions being the key to success.
Introducing more sustainable packaging methods can have a beneficial impact on a company’s carbon emission outage. Businesses can do this by:
- Optimising packaging materials, resulting in fewer damages during transit, reducing the likelihood of re-shipment.
- Choosing recyclable materials to reduce land and air pollution.
- Utilising the correct packaging materials to help reduce the size and weight of products, resulting in a reduction in transportation trips.
A great example of sustainable packaging solutions reducing carbon emissions comes from technology company Hewlett Packard (HP). Each year they export almost 40 million notebooks to China, and they wanted to introduce new packaging to reduce their overall environmental impact. HP partnered with Swedish pulp & paper manufacturers BillerudKorsnas and introduced new sustainable packaging. As a result of this, HP successfully reduced packaging materials by 29%, as well as lowered their transport emissions.
At PG Paper, we work alongside a network of global mill partners to offer our customers a range of innovative and sustainable packaging solutions. Contact us for more information on our range of sustainable packaging solutions.