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Consumers are increasingly adopting environmentally friendly buying practices, leading food suppliers to see increased returns from using biodegradable packaging for their products.
Undertaking more sustainable packaging methods can reduce your business’ carbon footprint and showcase your commitment to global environmental health. However, this push for more environmentally sustainable packaging coincides with a time when consumers also demand smaller, healthier food portions that they can eat on the go.
Recent trends in customer behavior point to a growing demand for portable snacks that can be consumed throughout the day. As most of these snacks traditionally appear in sachets or other plastic packaging, food and beverage suppliers have had to shift their practices to create more sustainable packaging for a wide variety of products.
What Is Sustainable Packaging?
Sustainable packaging, which is either immediately reusable or easily recyclable, seeks to improve this process’ ecological and economic efficiency. For those willing to go the extra mile, sustainable packaging also uses renewable resources throughout its production process, from sourcing and manufacturing to transporting and recycling products.
Good sustainable packaging satisfies three goals:
- Contains the product
- Attracts customers using effective branding
- Satisfies regulatory requirements
While many food suppliers are getting better at adopting more eco-friendly processes, this emphasis on using renewable resources throughout production has proven to be a consistent challenge.
To address these challenges, many food suppliers approach sustainability by making small changes gradually, allowing their company to absorb the cost of experimentation and implementation in small increments that don’t risk drastic negative effects. For example, most packagers start by reducing the packaging size or material, which helps offset costs at the design stage.
Some companies also dedicate resources to educating customers on the benefits of sustainable packaging. This ensures that any major changes your brand puts into place won’t be met with surprise by consumers.
This being said, the challenges of switching to sustainable packaging are rarely as severe as anticipated, and making the change is well worth the effort.
Green Is Good
Adopting sustainable packaging processes will benefit your company in the long run. Not only will you reap the rewards that come with improving your brand’s reputation and helping the environment, but you’ll also improve your bottom line by taking this approach.
First, undertaking sustainable recycling practices will reduce the amount of waste that your community sends to landfills or incinerators. Natural resources like water and timber are also much easier to preserve using recycling methods.
Pursuing sustainable packaging practices also helps your bottom line. Sustainable packaging requires less raw resources to build, and the materials it uses tend to be cheaper than preexisting plastic compounds. For example, packaging comprised of recycled paper or fibrous plant material comes from more plentiful natural resources than fossil fuel–based compounds, and these materials are only becoming cheaper as manufacturing processes grow in efficiency.
What’s more, using sustainable packaging will result in increased productivity for your facility. Cleaner assembly processes will result in fewer downtimes and maintenance delays, and abandoning the use of plasticizers and other harmful chemicals will boost employee health. Switching to a sustainable packaging line will also improve your relationship with your customers, who will reward your business for doing its part in the fight against climate change.
Creating a More Sustainable Future
Manufacturers should use recyclable materials for their packaging because they’ll help optimize production processes and improve customer relationships — not to mention reduce their environmental impact. Many businesses have seen immediate returns switching to sustainable packaging, whose wide range of available options render it an effective choice for many different applications.
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