In the past decade, Millennials and Gen Z have picked up valiant efforts for going green all over the world. From preaching “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to getting rid of plastic straws, this movement is becoming less of a nuisance and more of a necessity. Sustainable packaging is packaging that is best for the environment, from eco-friendly packaging, plant based packaging, to even biodegradable plastic. There are 3 main ways to pack sustainably. First, would be changing your ingredients by using recycled or raw materials. Second, through the production process to reduce your carbon footprint. And finally reusability, imagine the circle of life for the packaging, how can it be purposeful for the customer continuously?
Types of Sustainable packaging can vary from bags, cotton, paper, soy based ink, custom tape, shipping labels (the back paper is recyclable), stamps, and so much more. With many ways to be sustainable it’s important to acknowledge your contributions. First step would be to figure out which packaging you want to become eco-friendly – In a business point of view it can be stressful to transition to eco-friendly packaging, so remember you never have to change everything at once – The second step is to find good sources that are clear on where their materials are coming from. Research is always your friend. You can even order sample designs.
To find the right material for your business, many corporations have taken the lead in eco-friendly packaging. It all began in 2015, IKEA began investing in organic cotton, along with biodegradable styrofoam made from mycelium fungus. Later in 2016, H&M showed reusability in their bag-to-hanger packaging. While these are small fixes, they make big changes. More recently companies and corporations who decide against eco-friendly packaging, have become part of “cancel culture”. So while becoming sustainable may be tricky on the business scale, it becomes a large boost in advertisement. The final step in the eco-friendly transition is flaunting your packaging/product! There are many ways to advertise through social media, websites, stamps on the packaging, and you can always get creative like H&M. Depending on the consumer audience this can be a boost or even a stumble for the business. However, the customers who really care about your products will appreciate it the most and so will your planet!
Essay by: Maddelyn S. Gibson
Marcos De Niza High School