For the last couple of years, the desirability of sustainable and eco-friendly products has skyrocketed, with ethics being at the forefront of many shoppers’ priorities when consuming.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, consumers were given the opportunity to step back and reflect on how they were consuming and the potential ramifications of their shopping habits.
In fact, according to Forbes, 88% of consumers surveyed wanted businesses to help them become more environmentally friendly, based on a sample of 1000 consumers from the US and UK.
In the past, it was enough for businesses to showcase products with claims of sustainable sourcing and production to get the eco-centric shopper to flock to their store.
However, as the society-wide concern with the environment has grown, it’s not enough anymore for businesses to make a product that has an environmentally conscious element – such as being produced from recycled materials – as businesses’ practices as a whole are more intensely scrutinised.
This comes after numerous companies sought to jump on the environmental bandwagon and reap the monetary benefits of being seen as a sustainable corporation, without doing the work to ensure sustainability at every step in the production process.
This is why, if businesses want to obtain the consumership of ethical shoppers – and do their bit to diminish the harmful effect they have on the planet – then they should consider how they can make all of their practices more sustainable, minimising waste and reducing the energy they use.
One crucial part of making a business as sustainable as possible is improving the way that products are packaged, as a step of the process that can produce a huge amount of material waste.
With businesses of all types coming under fire for ‘greenwashing’ – making proclamations to consumers about their business’ sustainability while continuing practices which are unsustainable and harmful to the environment – it’s more important than ever for businesses to improve every step along the production line, from manufacture to packaging and fulfilment.
So, how do you find a packaging provider that prioritises the environment?
A packaging supplier that prioritises sustainability will have a clear environmental policy, which will usually be clearly displayed on their website.
This policy should contain more than just a promise to take the environment into account, it should include the ways in which the supplier is implementing to reduce their impact.
For example, UK packaging, label, till roll and paper provider Fortoak displays their environmental policy clearly on their website, including a number of ways in which they seek to reduce their impact on the environment.
Moreover, businesses should look into which packaging options will have the least negative impact on the environment.
For example, linerless labels are less wasteful as they don’t contain liners, meaning that about twice the number of labels can be held in a roll of the same volume. Liners aren’t recyclable, meaning that they go straight to landfill as soon as the labels have been applied to the products.
Linerless labels also contribute to increased efficiency during application, meaning they are more energy efficient per label and more labels can be transported per vehicle, saving on fuel.
This is just one of the examples of packaging product swaps businesses should be thinking about in order to reduce the damage they cause to the environment in terms of waste production and energy consumption.
So, if you want to take the next step to make your business more sustainable and reduce the impact it has on the planet, then consciously choosing your packaging options – including both the products and suppliers you use – is one of the best, less-thought of actions that you can take to make a difference while enticing the conscientious ethical shopper.