As climate change becomes a bigger consideration for all of us, companies must think about how they can reduce their emissions and lower their carbon footprint. Customers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on a brand’s green credentials.
The easiest way of making a difference is to consider the packaging you use. Very little is recycled in the U.S., with only 9% of plastic manufactured since 1950 being recycled. You do not have to drastically change your designs or spend a chunk of money to make it happen.
Here is how your company can incorporate packaging that is better for the environment.
Try to Avoid Using Mixed Materials
Anyone in the recycling business knows how complex and costly it can be to recycle mixed materials. Fusing paper and plastic together, for example, means the packaging is no longer recyclable because it is impossible to separate the different layers.
Stick to using one type of material within your packaging. Take note, this does not apply to small amounts of secondary material, such as sealing a cardboard box with some plastic tape.
Try to Avoid Plastic Entirely
Plastic is less likely to be recycled. Stick to more easily recycled papers like paper and cardboard. Although you may argue that paper is manufactured from trees, therefore it is not a good alternative, this is untrue because of the recycling rates on materials like paper.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the overall recycling rate of paper and paperboard in 2018 was 80.9%.
Use Recycled Material as Much as Possible
Virgin material might be the sexy option for company packaging, but it means you are not contributing to the recycling revolution. The more recycled material you use, the less new material needs to be produced.
Move away from virgin material, if possible, and opt for packaging you know has already been recycled.
Use Materials that Can Be Recycled Curbside
Since China banned waste imports, the U.S. has had to change the way it approaches recycling. Many cities have since upped their curbside recycling surfaces to make it easier for ordinary citizens to do their part.
Your company can also do its part by using materials in its packaging that can be easily recycled curbside. Nearly every city allows for paper curbside recycling. Thicker plastics are also more widely accepted curbside.
Avoid packaging with thinner plastics, as thinner films often clog up recycling machines. By showing off your green credentials and making it easier for customers, you are adding an extra benefit of shopping with your company.
Check out customized packaging companies like PakFactory to find out more about ideal recyclable materials for your company’s packaging.
These days it is even possible to opt for alternative materials, such as bioplastics. Other alternative materials are compostable and have various green uses.
Think outside the box when it comes to your packaging and make it clear to customers through appropriate labeling that you are doing your part to save the planet.
What are you doing to make your company’s packaging greener?