Recent Consumer Demands

Millennials and generation Z are a new wave of eco-conscious users passionate about not only their individual carbon footprint but the effect on the environment humans have created as a whole. As the rising members of the economic community, these green go-getters have shaped the consumer demands in multiple ways. With the help of social media, these generations have banded together to promote eco-friendly brands, educate others on upcycling products, and expose companies that are harmful to the environment. In the past decade, the economic trends show that over 65% of young adult consumers prefer to buy from brands that support sustainability and demonstrate environmental awareness and this influence is only projected to grow as more and more people are being educated on the environmental impact of one-time and plastic packaging. This has influenced many others to shop green based products and forced many companies to rebrand and shift practices to a more sustainable process.

Government and Business Strategies

Following the influence of the new green generation, businesses and government officials are starting to join the cause. Government legislations are embracing the reduce, reuse, and recycle practices as different places have started to enforce sustainability within their community. Legislation is targeting environmental impacts through a range of practices – plastic bag bans, sustainable packaging and waste strategies, and recycling initiatives. Businesses themselves have taken a larger corporate responsibility with sustainability commitments. Many international companies have made pledges to salvage their reputations with the new generation of green consumers through promises of recycled packaging or reducing their single use plastics by a drastic amount. With these new business and government initiatives comes the question of product quality through sustainable packaging.

Eco-Friendly Material Advancements

With this growing demand for an eco-friendly and sustainable way of packaging products, there have been many developments over the past few years about utilizing different materials and recycling processes. Each of these practices looks at the environmental effects of every step – the gathering and availability of initial materials, the manufacturing needed to create the product, and the lifetime of the package after use. Using plant based materials, compostable packaging is designed to decompose into the Earth without any harmful chemicals or toxins. Similarly, cellulose packaging uses natural products to create a plastic-like and moisture resistant package that is also biodegradable. Cornstarch packaging takes many forms such as food containers and packing peanuts, replacing the need for one-time plastic and styrofoam packaging and using an easily renewable resource to replenish. In addition to nontoxic and renewable materials being used for more eco-friendly packaging needs, is the practice of recycling existing materials to reused for new packaging. As more and more sustainable practices are being explored and tested, the limits for green easily renewable materials continue to grow.

Community Commitment

With the growing future of sustainable packaging comes the reliability and commitment of the community. It is important to the continuance of eco-friendly practices that those who are already dedicated to their green consumer and producer strategies remain committed to such practices and speak up to educate those who are not as environmentally aware of the harmful effects of one-time plastics and their toxic chemicals. The growing support for eco-friendly brands and companies will continue to force others to join the initiative. This growth will also help economically reduce the cost of sustainable packaging, making it more attractive to consumers. With the community support of the next generation of sustainable packaging, the future potential will continue to become more popular as a step towards reducing harmful effects on the Earth.

Works Cited:

Essay by: Taylor Blaney
Wentworth Institute of Technology

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