With consumers not just preferring but demanding companies improve environmentally-friendly sustainable packaging practices, product and brand managers are facing unprecedented challenges. Good business and environmental sustainability are often at logger heads.
Few consumers understand the supply chain of re-cycling. Hypothetically, almost everything could be recycled. But when the costs of recycling a package far out-price the marketability of the end recycled product, it is not economically sustainable to achieve environmental sustainability for that package construction. That is a simple fact of life.
Many paper food product packaging, for example, cannot be recycled and are often dumped in the recycling bin. Why? Most paper food packaging will have a coating of some sort..often wax..and the technology does not exist to separate the wax from the paper. The result? More packaging in landfill sites.
We all know how packaging can impact sales, making it a critical marketing component. What are smart companies and packaging developers doing more and more these days? Getting all the help they can. And increasingly, that means involving the packaging developers in their package design process.
Who better knows the latest development in polymers? Who understands the capabilities and feasibility of bio-resins? Who better knows how to improve the environmental impact in each step of the package development process?
Making balanced decisions when it comes to the economic and environmental impact requires both ingenuity and insight. At first blush, many companies look at changes to make their packaging more environmentally friendly, as a cost. But increasingly it is becoming a cost of doing business.
Want to prevent market share erosion to your competitors? Stay on top of the environmental-friendly movement. It is not going away. Want to steal share? Be a leader and lead change. And the first step to leading change is to talk to packaging producers. That will cost you nothing. And if you can gain one insight, get help on using environmental practices as a tool in gaining a competitive advantage, that conversation will be worth every penny you didn’t have to spend.
Going green does not have to drive companies into the red. However, ignoring the green movement could.