Have you ever wondered why nowadays, your soda bottle might have a slightly darker tint to it instead of it’s usually pristine, clear appearance? This observation can be explained by eco-friendly packaging being employed by the company you purchased your soda bottle from. All companies should adopt an eco-friendly way of packaging their products because it reduces a company’s carbon footprint, markets companies in a progressive light, and increases sales.

Oftentimes, a company’s success is not established solely off of the quality of a product; brand image and ethical production are heavily influencing factors. According to Harvard Business Law, customers have been purchasing sustainable goods more often in the last several years; Kronthal-Sacco and Whelan include the foreseeable trend that sustainable brands “speak to consumers’ interest in aligning their shopping with their values” (Kronthal-Sacco and Whelan 8), which advocates for the company’s awareness of global warming and offers the customers piece of mind, as they can readily support a corporation that is making a change to better the Earth. In cohesion with the aforementioned quote, Harvard Business Law also pitches a slightly different claim that has a similar, underlying message; the authors include the fact that consumers “are voting with their dollars — against unsustainable brands” (Kronthal-Sacco and Whelan 7), alluding to the notion that sustainability is in and careless production habits are out. Despite sustainability making a company more appealing to consumers, it serves a greater purpose than just this.

While sustainability paints the image of a proactive company, it is truly more beneficial behind the scenes; eco-friendly packaging increases sales exponentially. According to Tensie Whelan and Randi Kronthal-Sacco, “products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than those that were not” (Kronthal-Sacco and Whelan 3); popularity amongst eco-friendly products is in direct correlation with their sales. In addition to the increased popularity amongst sustainably produced and packaged materials, eco-friendly goods are also experiencing increased sales that account for a large majority of the producer-consumer market. In the same Harvard Business Law article, it it mentioned that “50% of CPG growth from 2013 to 2018 came from sustainability-marketed products” (Kronthal-Sacco and Whelan 2); this statistic goes back to the same trend of growth between popularity and sales, the relation between the two being eco-friendly production. With all economic focus aside, sustainability on a company’s behalf does a lot for the bigger picture of reversing global warming.

Increased sales and publicity are fantastic results of sustainability, but what really counts is the effectiveness in reducing a company’s carbon footprint. Global warming, a gradual increase in the Earth’s temperature accredited to the burning of fossil fuels, needs to be reversed in order for humanity to continue to thrive and progress in a constructive direction; but this will not happen if large corporations continue to neglect the option of eco-friendly packaging and general sustainability. According to Swiftpak, a package supplier that produces eco-friendly packaging, “[with] the vast amount of CO2 produced when manufacturing products, companies contribute massively to global warming” (Swiftpak 2); increased carbon emissions is a leading cause of global warming, and with an option that is so environmentally safe, companies that hang on to the idea of traditional packaging are completely neglecting our planet. On a different note, Swiftpak also included a fact that has a parallel meaning, but a more hopeful connotation; it reads “[recyclable packaging material] uses less energy and produces less pollution than making more packaging materials from scratch.” (Swiftpak 14). In an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle (and save our planet), Swiftpak advocates for a change in large corporations and calls out companies that remain neutral in the fight to reverse global warming.

With all clear benefits outlined, I turn the conversation back to large corporations. Is it so complicated to convert to eco-friendly packaging? Is it disdainful to fight global warming in a noninvasive way that is as undeniably simple as switching from environmentally-taxing packaging to eco-friendly packaging? Is it so hard to try to reserve our Earth by doing something so simple? So doable? It is not. It is time for dominating companies to make a change. For the well-being of our Earth.

Essay by: Ava M. Jacobsen
Arizona State University

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