Top 3 sustainable packaging myths busted
All the products that we use or consume need packaging to protect, convey, and inform us about what is inside. It is also popularly coined as an extension of a brand’s message and values, which is why packaging is integral in today’s e-commerce scene. One of the best ways to have trendy packaging is to give it a sustainable revamp. While many still have doubts about switching to or have not heard about sustainable packaging, there are statistics that prove that the benefits outweigh the negatives.
If you are an e-commerce seller that is not sure if the switch is right for you, this blog is specially written for you as we debunk three sustainable packaging myths that you may have not encountered before.
1. The three Myths
One of the myths of sustainable packaging is that it is too expensive. A survey by Raconteur revealed that 43% of brands see sustainable packaging as expensive. The reason for this relates to the classic supply and demand chain brought by plastics. Plastics are abundant and the demand for it makes it even more accessible so it easy for businesses to use it for their packaging. Sustainable packaging are therefore considered more valuable and expensive and harder to get.
The second myth is that sustainable packaging only means using cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes can be cut, folded, and reshaped into different sizes which is a perfect packaging option for product-based businesses. It is so popular that Sourcing Journal reported that half the paper produced globally is destined to be turned into cardboard or paper packaging, with an estimate of 241 million tons of shipping boxes produced yearly.
The last myth is that brands only advertise sustainable packaging for face-value so that customers become attracted to it. The term for brands that claim to be sustainable yet fail to give sufficient results are called corporate greenwashing, Because of this negative stigma, customers and other competitors become suspicious of the business’ real intent for sustainability campaigns. Sometimes, we see big brands promote their use of sustainable packaging and it raises questions such as: ‘Are they doing it because they truly care about the environment or for publicity in order to get more customers?’. It is hard to fully distinguish whether they are effectively engaged in their sustainability journey or whether they are exaggerating it for marketing purposes.
2. The three realities
First off, sustainable packaging is not expensive if you look in the right places, in fact it can be highly cost-effective. Besides, if it is a few pounds/dollars more than non-recyclable products, the reality is you are paying for it to not be a wasteful material. It is the embodiment of one’s brand. If you are concerned about the turnover that your business will be making when investing in ‘expensive’ sustainable packaging, think about your brand values, your customer’s values, and how your customers will eventually perceive your brand in today’s society. According to PackagingNews.co.uk: “Packaging used to be ‘just’ about functionality, desirability, stand-out and communication. Now ‘doing the right thing’ has become a priority for many shoppers weighing up which product to purchase.
Secondly, while using cardboard packaging is a good route to take when switching to sustainable packaging, it is not the only factor e-commerce merchants need to keep in mind. It is important to know who made the packaging, how much energy it took to manufacture it, where it came from, and most importantly, how it is packaged and sent to your consumers
One technique that is to not over-package your items. This practice, which is famously known as the “Russian Doll technique” is wasteful and unnecessary even if you are using sustainable packaging. It is important to package your items smartly. Sustainability goes hand in hand with material reduction as less material equals to less energy consumption and waste. Another tip is for businesses to research if their manufacturer is minimizing their energy usage by optimizing machinery, and even optimizing time for the packaging to be made.
Lastly, although some companies may use sustainable models to jump into the sustainability bandwagon, choosing sustainable packaging ultimately benefits our planet more than it benefits the businesses. Given that the switch made by more and more companies in various industries are efficient and truthful, this will allow more companies to see that the sustainability movement is more than just a trend. It is a regulation set in place to help improve the future of our planet’s health.
Which myths and realities did you find most interesting? Like Share Comment below
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Top 3 sustainable packaging myths busted was originally published in The sustainable sourcing company on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.