When it comes to packaging, sustainability is now in the spotlight more than ever. It was only a few years ago that plastic was the standard for most packaging products, however now there is a fundamental shift to eco-friendly packaging.
The ban on plastic
In the US, various state legislatures have continually looked at ways to reduce the prevalence of plastic bags. This is not only aimed at grocery stores but all businesses.
Some states not only focus on implementing effective recycling programs but have imposed a total ban on plastic bags. It’s conceivable that the focus could turn to packaging since it touches so many aspects of our lives.
It’s not only state legislatures that are driving the shift to reduce plastic use. Today, one of the biggest concerns for consumers when buying products is how sustainable they are- this is true of the packaging products are marketed in as well.
So, how do you choose the right eco-friendly packaging products for your business? Let’s first look at the various types of sustainable packaging products.
The three main eco-friendly materials are biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable packaging types.
We often see the word ‘biodegradable’ on the various products that we purchase. What does this actually mean?
A biodegradable product will break down quickly and safely into compounds that are mostly harmless. Anything that’s animal-based, plant-based, or natural mineral-based is generally biodegradable.
Biodegradable packaging is made from materials that can be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms. This type of packaging is often made from plant-based or animal-based materials such as bamboo, wool, and paper.
It’s estimated that around 40% of the waste in landfills is composed of packaging material. One of the main benefits of biodegradable packaging is that it reduces the amount of waste sent to these landfills. You can imagine why consumers would prefer to choose a product with biodegradable packaging over one that does not.
Compostable products and packaging break down into natural elements in a compost environment. This process usually takes no more than 90 days.
ASTM International defines compostable as a product that yields water, CO2, biomass, and inorganic compounds at a rate consistent with other compostable materials by undergoing degradation through a biological process.
Recyclable packaging is made up of materials that can be used again after being processed. These materials usually include glass, paper, metal, cardboards, and plastic. The most popular form of recyclable packaging is corrugated cardboard.
Choosing the right eco-friendly packaging for your business
When it comes to sustainable packaging, there are a few factors that you need to consider, including:
- The type of product you’re selling – If you’re selling food products, then compostable packaging may be the best option.
- If you’re selling non-food items, then recyclable or biodegradable packaging may be more suitable.
- Your target market – If your target market is eco-conscious, then they’re likely to prefer sustainable packaging options.
- Your budget – While eco-friendly packaging options can be more expensive, it’s important to remember that they can influence purchasing decisions by your target audience and may be worth considering as they can contribute to an increase in overall sales.
Benefits of eco-friendly packaging
Now that we’ve looked at the main types of eco-friendly packaging, let’s look at some of the benefits of using sustainable packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging is good for the environment
This should be obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. By using eco-friendly packaging for your products, you’re doing your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills each year. Leverage this information on your packaging as another selling point.
As we mentioned before, around 40% of the waste in landfills is made up of packaging material. If more businesses switched to sustainable packaging options, this number would decrease significantly.
Eco-friendly packaging is good for your brand image
In today’s climate, consumers are increasingly interested in buying from brands that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
By switching to eco-friendly packaging, you’re improving your brand image and making yourself more attractive to potential customers.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to switch to eco-friendly packaging. If you’re looking for sustainable packaging options for your business, make sure to keep the factors we’ve discussed in mind.
Ritter’s Printing & Packaging focuses on sustainability
If you are looking to do the right thing for the environment, then Ritter’s Printing & Packaging has all the right products for you. Whether it’s using environmentally friendly ink or sourcing recycled materials, we always take a responsible approach to manufacturing.
If you’d like to see our range of packaging products, look at our custom packaging. We’re here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 954-771-7204 or send us your details here and a member of our team will reach out to you.