3 Ways To Make Your Retail Packaging More Sustainable

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3 Ways To Make Your Retail Packaging More Sustainable

Your brand’s retail packaging – the shopping bag that a consumer gets in-store or the eCommerce box that their online order is packaged in – has an important role to play. While many companies think of retail packaging as a means to an end, it actually can be much more meaningful.  Along with reinforcing your…

3 Ways To Make Your Retail Packaging More Sustainable

Your brand’s retail packaging – the shopping bag that a consumer gets in-store or the eCommerce box that their online order is packaged in – has an important role to play. While many companies think of retail packaging as a means to an end, it actually can be much more meaningful. 

Along with reinforcing your brand image and acting as a powerful marketing asset, it can also appeal to consumer values. 

Many consumers today are aware of their environmental impact and feel a responsibility to minimize it – if they are not, they very well soon will be. Because of this, people are spending more with companies that prioritize sustainability

Let’s explore what sustainable packaging is, its benefits, and three ways you can make yours more eco-friendly.

What Is Sustainable Retail Packaging? 

Sustainable packaging is packaging that is better for the environment. This can be accomplished in many ways, but the core concept of sustainable retail packaging is that it is designed, produced, and sourced using technologies, methods, and materials that minimize its negative impact on the environment and humans. 

Benefits of Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging components and manufacturing practices can help you lower packaging costs. Plus, consumers are actually willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, so sustainable components can help keep margins low. 

Sustainable packaging can also give you a competitive advantage. Since many consumers today are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint, they are examining what companies they buy from and how these brands help them achieve an eco-friendly lifestyle. In fact, 54% of consumers agree that they consider sustainable packaging during the buying process, while 57% are less likely to buy a product with environmentally-harmful packaging. 

Because of these things and the appeal that sustainable packaging has to people’s increasing desire to do good, sustainable packaging can help you build a positive brand image that will pay off in the long run. Not only does this enhance your reputation but it also helps you build lasting relationships with your consumer base – and attract more prospects.

Examples of Sustainable Packaging Strides You Can Make Right Now

Consumers place a high value on these sustainable practices

  • Sustainable product and packaging production
  • Waste mitigation during manufacturing
  • Ethical working practices
  • Carbon footprint reduction
  • Human rights protection and respect

Here are some of the best ways you can incorporate the above points into your packaging approach. 

green sustainable packaging bag

Ditch the Plastic 

Many of us know it – plastic has a long lifespan and is one of the least eco-friendly packaging materials out there. It is not biodegradable and can release harmful chemicals into the environment. 

Instead, opt for recyclable paper components, such as paper void fill over bubble wrap or paper shoppers in place of plastic ones. For shipping items, swap plastic mailer bags for biodegradable or compostable bags. Replace single-use plastic pouches with reusable fabric ones or make them from recyclable paper.

brown recycling bag

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reusable and recyclable packaging components are a smart way to reduce waste. 

Choose reusable tote bags made of organic cotton or washable paper, switch to cloth jewelry pouches instead of plastic ones, or create high-quality gift boxes that double as storage boxes. Not only does this reduce waste but it gives consumers added tangible and emotional value – they feel appreciated with that free gift and can use it for the years to come. 

In terms of recyclability, 67% of consumers find it important in packaging. There are many recyclable packaging materials to choose from, such as 100% recyclable paper and nonwoven plastics. Since these can be broken down into their raw form and made into new materials, recyclable materials lower the demand for virgin ingredients and the carbon emissions made during production. 

When people recycle the components discussed above, manufacturers can use this post-consumer recycled material to create new packaging components. For example, if you do want to use plastic packaging, make it from rPET. This post-consumer recycled plastic gives a second life to plastic materials that would otherwise be in landfills and oceans.

recycling logo of earth and three arrows

Take a Minimal Packaging Approach 

A simple way to minimize waste is to not create it in the first place. Examine what parts of your packaging are an absolute necessity and what are not, and then design your retail packaging accordingly. This may look like eliminating extra interior packaging components or using less of a higher-quality option instead of more of a lower-quality one. 

With today’s technology on your side, you may even be able to use QR codes to eliminate the use of paper inserts, instruction manuals, pamphlets, or brochures. These codes can help drive traffic to your website and enhance your brand experience. Plus, you will not have to spend money on printing those extra assets.

Your Packaging Service Provider Plays a Big Role

Your packaging provider and its supply chain also have a part to play in your sustainability efforts.

Choose a sustainable packaging service provider that takes an environmentally-friendly approach. They should be continually looking for ways to minimize unnecessary waste, conserve resources and energy, and create an efficient supply chain. 

Social impact is just as important as environmental impact. Choose a provider that utilizes ethical business practices and cares about making a good impact on people. They should prioritize the health and safety of their employees as well as their consumers, pay employees fairly, and provide good working conditions.

If you are looking for a packaging provider that has the capabilities to check the above boxes and utilizes a sustainable supply chain, you are in the right place. Contact us today to create the best sustainable packaging design you can dream of.