More companies should look into adopting environmentally friendly packaging because it would benefit them, their consumers, and the planet. Large corporations and small businesses alike can benefit from using ecofriendly, sustainable packaging because it makes them more attractive to customers who care about sustainability and slowing down climate change. Consumers could benefit because they would be able to reuse the packaging they receive from these businesses, which would save them money in the long run. The ways in which environmentally friendly packaging could benefit the planet are obvious: reducing plastic waste and the creation and distribution of single-use plastics is crucial to cleaning up landfills and oceans all over the world.
According to Erich Lawson of the Green Business Bureau, “A recent study discovered that 78% of customers between the ages of 18-72 felt more positive about a product whose packaging was made up of recycled items” (Lawson, 2017). People between the ages of 18 and 72 make up the majority of customers for most businesses, and if 78% of the majority is interested in recycled packaging, recycled packaging is a smart thing to implement.
Aside from attracting new customers, companies are able to save money by adopting environmentally friendly packaging because it can mean less packaging. Less packaging can result in lower shipping costs. These savings might seem small when looking at individual transactions, but they surely add up over time.
Just like companies, customers could benefit if environmentally friendly packaging is adopted. When customers receive reusable packaging, they may choose to save it to use in the future. This allows the consumer to save money on packaging because instead of buying new bags and boxes, they may use ones they have received previously.
By far, the largest beneficiary with regards to environmentally friendly packaging is our planet, Earth. According to a Scientific American article, “We may be getting awfully close” to the point of no return regarding climate change (EarthTalk, 2015). Increasing our use of multiple-use plastics and other reusable materials in packaging may be able to slow the process of climate change, as plastic waste is a producer of greenhouse gases (Plastic Soup Foundation, 2018). If we limit plastic waste in landfills and oceans, we can limit the amount of greenhouse gases that are being released into the atmosphere.
A possible downside to adopting sustainable, ecofriendly packaging is that sometimes, these materials require unique disposal methods. Not all customers may be familiar with the different packaging and shipping materials and how they must be disposed of. However, a simple solution for this would be to include a small card, similar to a business card, in the package or envelope which includes instructions for disposal of the specific materials used in that package. The cards would be affordable to print in bulk, the consumer would be able to dispose of the packaging correctly, and the card itself could be recycled.
Adopting environmentally friendly packaging would not only benefit the companies that do it; it would also benefit customers and our planet. The advantages vastly outweigh the possible negative outcomes: businesses could save money and attract new customers, customers could reuse packaging they receive, and, if enough companies make the switch, we may be able to slow down climate change.
Essay by: Anelyse Myers
Arizona State University – Tempe Campus