Citing pressure from consumers, more and more businesses are offering environmentally friendly packaging in 2019
— Sustainability has been called the number one trend in packaging in 2019, with a growing number of businesses switching from plastic to more environmentally friendly packaging materials. A rise in consumer awareness of environmental concerns is the driving force behind this trend, according to industry experts.
A growing number of consumers report that environmental concerns have an impact on their purchase decisions. In fact, in a recent survey by the market research company GlobalWebIndex, more than 60% of respondents said that they would switch from a current brand if offered a more environmentally friendly alternative. Thus, to remain competitive, many companies are now rethinking how they're packaging products and looking for more sustainable options.
Eco-friendly packaging can take various forms, but the intent is to reduce waste, avoid harm to the environment, and create products that consumers enjoy using. One approach is to use biodegradable materials, such as plant-based starches and cellulose. These products can be added to a compost, where they will break down into natural compounds that will not pollute the air or ground. Products made from recycled materials and packages that can be reused are also considered eco-friendly.
The recent shift in consumer demand is in part due to a growing public awareness of how non-recyclable materials harm the environment. Images, videos, and stories shared on social media provide compelling evidence of this harm, and the emotional impact of such content has had an influence on consumers' preferences and behaviors.
One recent example is a viral video showing a sea turtle impaled by a plastic straw. Though the marine biologists who found the turtle off the coast of Costa Rica were able to save its life, the video captured the animal's suffering and inspired an anti-straw movement that has led to a major reduction in the use of plastic straws throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Consumers are also discovering a preference for the look and feel of green products. With Amazon's Frustration-Free Packaging, online shoppers receive packages that are not only eco-friendly but also easy to open, with no plastic bags inside. Many other businesses are following suit and turning to eco-friendly packaging suppliers like Plus Packaging, whose products include reusable bags and packaging made from recycled material. Visit their website to learn about Plus Packaging.
Pressure to offer eco-friendly packaging may also come from above in the form of government regulations. In some states, governments have imposed restrictions on certain packaging types; for example, the state of New York is one of nine states that now prohibit Styrofoam, including filler for boxes as well as clam-shell fast food containers.
For many business owners, going green brings a host of benefits. Not only do green practices earn customers' good will, but businesses typically save money on environmentally friendly packaging materials.
For one thing, green packaging requires a much lower volume of material overall. In addition, eco-friendly products are often less expensive to purchase. For example, after Coca Cola switched to sustainable packaging materials, the company reported an annual savings of $180 million. Furthermore, the use of recycled products saves the cost of energy required to produce new materials.
Eco-friendly packaging is on its way to becoming the norm rather than the exception. Cosmetics companies, beer manufacturers, food and beverage companies, and many other types of retailers are exploring the possibilities plant-based, biodegradable materials along with recycled packaging.
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