Sustainable packaging is the turning point to saving our planet. As our environment continues to be plagued by wasted materials, our knowledge of such waste has also increased dramatically. It is our social responsibility to combat these issues before the damage is catastrophic to our planet. In particular, the largest impact can be made by corporations, who are the distributors of products and services who utilize these packaging materials the most.

In order to convey the importance of these issues economically and socially, I will be sharing the story of how my business utilizes sustainable packaging. For reference, I currently run a sports memorabilia e-commerce store that is a top-rated seller on numerous platforms. The autographs, trading cards, and other products are shipped every day using sustainable packaging. Previously, I did not consider the harmful effects that packaging could have on the environment. However, the reason for change makes both economical and social sense.

The eco-friendly envelopes and bubble mailers that I use are the highest quality mailers that I have used while operating my business. The mailers are both biodegradable and compostable. This gives me the reassurance that I am doing my part in helping the environment to the best of my ability. However, this also makes sense economically, the mailers that I purchase are thick and protect the trading cards and photos better than any other envelope. No orders in the past 6 months have been damaged as a result of this switch. Additionally, when the envelopes are bought in bulk, they are actually cheaper or the same price as standard envelopes that I used to buy.

Therefore, following my education at The University of Miami, I hope to start a non-profit organization designed to garner corporate social responsibility all across Florida. As referenced by the essay title, a rough draft of a name could be Planet Protectionary Packaging if the focus of the efforts revolve around the packaging element of business practices. I plan to first begin in the local community of Southwest Florida and spread the movement gradually throughout the state. This is inspired by my interest in entrepreneurship combined with eco-friendly business practices.This is exactly why my pursuit of a degree from The University of Miami means so much to me. It would assist my dream into becoming a reality.

My passion for business and service can be combined through this idea and I can’t wait to start it one day. In fact, I chose to attend The University of Miami because I believed that it would provide me with the greatest opportunity for success with this nonprofit. For as long as I continue to work diligently towards this goal, I know the future will be incredibly bright. The financial peace of mind that this scholarship would provide also ensures that I do well in my classes and am able to put my energy towards what I truly care about, improving the lives of others and the planet. Hence, this is what it means to be an entrepreneur in today’s day and age. The effects of previous business practices are a reality that we currently live in and we must address headstrong. It is the ethical obligation of corporations to begin using sustainable packaging. This issue is more prevalent than others as e-commerce platforms have trumped standard retail, and the volume of product shipments have increased over time. As this trend continues, the damage to the environment will only continue to get worse. Furthermore, as e-commerce platforms gain market share, it will be more difficult for legislation to pass reforms in favor of sustainable packaging measures. The time is now to make a change.

Essay by: Daniel Naqui
University of Miami

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