As climate change rages over planet earth, everyone has to play a part in preserving the environment. Businesses are moving towards more sustainable practices as there is a higher demand for eco-friendly products from customers.
New global research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by WWF, shows a staggering 71% rise in the popularity of searches for sustainable goods over the past five years. This means that consumers are leaning more towards investing in eco-friendly products.
As a business, you don’t want to be left behind. You want to be ahead of the curve, proactively looking for ways to improve your business strategies without impacting the planet.
Sustainability and environmental preservation are important and need to be incorporated into your business ethos to meet the rising consumer demand. A recent study found that the Gen Z consumer has outsized influence on not only their Gen X parents but even their Boomer grandparents, when it comes to sustainable shopping.
Same rules apply to the packaging industry. When it comes to the creation of your packaging strategy for 2023, it is vital to look at things from a sustainability perspective.
The focus of sustainable packaging traditionally has been on minimizing the impact on the environment and making sure our waste does not end up in landfills. However, consumers are now also thinking about their impact on the environment when making purchases. The consumer demand for sustainable packaging is increasing.
According to a survey by Statista, 80% of Americans are more likely to buy from a company if it demonstrates efforts being made toward environmental sustainability. What does this mean for packaging companies? It means that consumers expect companies to take environmental preservation into account and develop eco-friendly packaging solutions that keep all packaging waste out of landfills and oceans.
Sustainable packaging helps the environment and also helps businesses create loyal and happy customers that share the same values when it comes to eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Here are 9 sustainable packaging strategies for you to consider for your business in 2023.
1. Carbon Neutral Packaging
In carbon neutral packaging, all the carbon emissions related to the production process of the packaging are first calculated and then compensated for by a carbon offset project. For example, this can be a forest conservation project. In a project such as this, the trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while also providing benefits to local communities.
Many companies are powering sustainable shopping experiences for their customers. Various algorithms are in place that enable you to calculate all emissions that unavoidably arise (folding boxes, shipping bags etc.) when producing your packaging products thus enabling you to practice sustainable packaging. These emissions can be compensated with a carbon offset project such as planting more trees thus neutralizing the effect on the environment.
2. Reusable Packaging
Reusable packaging is made of durable materials and is specifically designed for multiple uses and extended life. A reusable package or container is designed for reuse without impairment of its protective function.
Reusability of packaging is an important consideration of the environmental credo of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is also a part of sustainable packaging.
Using reusable products for packaging can also be seen as a commercially beneficial approach when implementing a sustainable packaging strategy as it is a more financially viable option for your business.
3. Recycled Packaging
Using recycled packaging should be an important part of your sustainable packaging strategy this year. Recycled packaging consists of items that give a second life to plastics that are already in circulation.
By using recycled packaging, you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserve natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, increase economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials and prevent pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials, while at the same time saving a lot of energy.
Arka offers Recyclable BioPE Stand Up Pouches that are made from carbon-negative Sugarflex™ laminates, derived from rapidly renewable plant materials. They are a mono-material (made using only one type of polymer) suitable for recycling. Additionally, Arka also offers Recyclable BioPE Vacuum Bag which is also derived from rapidly renewable plant materials.
4. Compostable Shipping Mailers
Adding compostable shipping mailers to your sustainable packaging strategy will help you cut down a lot of waste in the shipping process.
The compostable shipping mailers are self-sufficient, in the sense that they prevent you from using any extra packaging material or plastic wrapping for your product.
They’re also made out of materials that can easily be recycled, composted, or reused when they’re done with their job. That way, you don’t have to worry about wasting your money on new shipping materials everytime you ship out a product.
Arka’s home compostable poly mailer is made from renewable bioplastic film. The mailers break down into healthy compost leaving no microplastics and conform to all major compost certifications including OK Compost Home and AS5810.
5. Digital Printing
With no tooling required, digital printing technologies are, by nature, more sustainable than traditional printing methods and offer a way forward toward clean, efficient, profitable manufacturing.
Lingerie brand Burgundy Fox’s boxes look extra cute in Arka’s digitally printed packaging here!
6. Non-Toxic Ink
Making use of eco-friendly inks is a big part of the move toward more sustainable printing methods and should be a part of your sustainable packaging strategy.
While no ink is 100-percent free from non-renewable resources or chemicals, modern inks are far better than traditional petroleum inks. Petroleum inks are bad news for the environment. Petroleum ink is made from petrol (or crude oil)- and petrol is already heavily contributing to climate change.
While petroleum may be a natural resource, it is also non-renewable and extracting it from the earth causes undesirable effects to the environment.
Arka’s tissue paper, stickers, custom tapes, and all printed in eco-friendlier inks that are non-toxic!
7. Ships In Its Own Container (SIOC) Certification
Ships in Own Container (SIOC) is Amazon's Second Tier of Certification, which was designed to minimize waste through ensuring the product packaging is designed to ship without the need for an Amazon Over-Box. The product must be able to ship in its current package and be tested to Amazon.com's certification guidelines
Arka is SIOC Certified by Amazon. Combining your primary and secondary packaging allows for less waste and a better unboxing experience.
8. Using Honeycomb Mailers
It is easy to incorporate this sustainable packaging product to your catalog by switching the bubble wrap (which is horrible for the environment!) to kraft honeycomb mailers!
Arka's honeycomb mailers are made from recycled paper and FSC-certified honeycomb, which are both compostable and curbside recyclable.
The recycled paperboard provides a rigid structure that is durable and also waterproof, while the honeycomb paper interior provides a layer of cushioning.
9. FSC certification
Adding FSC certification to your sustainable packaging strategy is important, if you haven’t already!
Consumers are paying more and more attention to their purchasing decisions when it comes to packaging. According to a recent survey of consumers from the US & UK by Globalwebindex, the percentage of consumers who are willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging has grown from 47% to 59% in just seven years. The Globescan survey found that 50% of the surveyed consumers worldwide (a total of 10,000 consumers were surveyed from 13 countries) recognise the FSC label and they trust that FSC is effective in protecting forests.
FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. Our products are made with a combination of FSC virgin fiber, and/or recycled materials with Controlled virgin fiber.
At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Businesses want to see packaging companies that commit to sustainability efforts in the long-term and make real changes in their strategies that are good for the environment.
Commitment can take the form of continuously actionable goals, and authenticity. Both of these should be a part of your sustainable packaging strategy for 2023 along with the 9 strategies mentioned above.
This will help minimize waste that ends up in landfills every year from shipping products and also make your eco-conscious customers happy. It is a win-win!