Since humanity has become more aware of climate change and its adverse effects on the planet and the human race, every individual has been automatically charged with the duty to try to reduce their carbon footprint in every way possible. Today, the awareness of the effects of climate change has become more pronounced with increased flooding, extreme heat waves, endangered wildlife, and the rapid disappearance rate of wildlife and territories.
The current world situation has encouraged everyone, especially businesses, which play the biggest role when it comes to pollution, to be more proactive about their impact on the environment. This has invariably led to the rise of sustainable alternatives to produce raw materials, as well as environment-friendly manufacturing and distribution processes.
Sustainable packaging has been one of the eco-friendly solutions to product distribution for many e-commerce businesses. Apart from reducing the amount of packaging waste, sustainable packaging also comes with more advantages that many are yet to see. For business owners who are considering sustainable packaging, but are skeptical about the new journey, below are a few advantages that may just sway you to switch to it:
What Is Sustainable Packaging?
As opposed to its predecessor, which is traditional packaging, sustainable packaging, also called green packaging, flexible packaging, or eco-friendly packaging, involves the sourcing, creation, and development of packaging solutions that have very little impact on the environment.
As e-commerce brands look for ways to optimize their consumer experience and shipping process, reduce costs, provide adequate protection for their products, as well as limit and reduce environmental impacts, sustainable packaging has become the perfect answer.
As the name implies, sustainable packaging is both recyclable and reusable, like those packaging types from companies like Packaging World. Its major characteristic is being highly biodegradable, therefore allowing for the creation of another type of packaging whenever recycled. Plus, it’s also reusable even without recycling, allowing for more than one use.
Before a packaging method can be deemed sustainable, there are certain criteria it must meet. According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a leading voice in the promotion of more sustainable packaging, these criteria include the following:
- The packaging must meet market criteria in terms of cost and performance.
- The packaging method should overall be beneficial to the environment and the user, as well as safe for communities and individuals all through its lifespan
- The packaging method must have clean production means, and adopt clean technologies and practices.
- The packaging method must be sourced using renewable energy, and its manufacturing, transportation, and recycling processes should also use renewable energy.
- It must be made from source materials that are healthy all through their lifecycle
- The manufacturing should be able to put the renewable source material to optimal use.
- The packaging must be recoverable and useful in both industrial and biological manufacturing processes.
- The packaging design process must be able to optimize both energy and the material.
Advantages Of Sustainable Packaging In E-Commerce
1. Improves Public Perception And Increases Brand Loyalty
According to a recent study, more than half of the global Internet users are willing to pay for more sustainable products and even pay more for sustainable packaging, while another half are willing to switch to a brand or brands that utilize more eco-friendly materials in terms of production and packaging. With the growing awareness about climate change and its effects, people are becoming more proactive about their consumption choices, and as the study above has pointed out, they’re willing to go the extra mile for any e-commerce venture that utilizes any form of eco-friendly packaging or product.
As an e-commerce brand, the public’s perception of your business would be more positive as they perceive you as one who that’s environmentally conscious and socially responsible. And, who doesn’t want to associate with or buy from a brand that has a positive public perception?
This would also increase brand loyalty amongst your clients. This is because your clients are sure that through your sustainable packaging and products, you’re always looking out for the future of the planet, as well as their own. Invariably, it leads to them wanting to stick with your brand rather than switch to better options.
2. Ensures Effective Storage And Lower Storage Costs
Two of the primary benefits of sustainable packaging are the reduction of waste and the reduction of packaging materials. A viable sustainable packaging method would provide adequate packaging functions without the need to overpackage (one of the components associated with the traditional packaging method), and bulk up your product. This means that
simple sustainable packaging will allow for more efficient storage while saving space. It also leads to lower storage costs as you no longer require a large space to keep your items. On the other hand, it would also allow you to store more products as there’d be plenty of room for safekeeping, without the need to procure extra storage space.
3. Reduces Shipping costs
Just as it is with storage, sustainable shipping packaging is more cost-effective than the traditional one. Sustainable packaging is smaller, more durable, and multi-functional, which means that your products don’t require large space to ship. In simple terms, it means that an e-commerce venture can ship its products without having to pay for excess space. And, for those who are into bulk shipping, it means that they can ship more items altogether rather than a limited number, all for the same affordable price.
There’s no way this article will mention the advantages of sustainable packaging without mentioning the environment itself. As the priority of sustainability, the environment benefits hugely from a reduction in carbon emissions generated from production, as well as a reduction in packaging trash polluting the environment.
As the environment, therefore, thrives in a trash-free area, with little to no disturbance to its resources as recyclable materials are used for production rather than raw materials, it rewards the community and society with a healthier and more livable environment. Also, businesses can thrive better.
For instance, the reduction in CO2 emissions from plastic factories leads to reduced health issues amongst workers who are no longer exposed to dangerous polluting gases. The air people breathe in will be cleaner and fresher as there’d be less CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, and the air will no longer be contaminated. Again, it’d lead to the preservation of natural habitats and communities as a reduction in packaging trash that clogs the sewages, pipelines, and other drainage systems will reduce erosion and flooding instances that can demolish entire communities at once.
5. Versatile And Innovative Packaging
Sustainable packaging at its core is reusable, versatile, creative, and innovative. It can be repurposed to serve many functions without losing its functionality no matter how many times it’s remanufactured or reproduced. You can use sustainable packaging in any industry, plus, it can go from being a mere packaging item to a decorative item if repurposed adequately,
That’s another great advantage of it. As its name implies, it’s a flexible packaging that fits all industrial packaging needs from cosmetic products to electronics, clothing, food, and so on. It offers a wide variety of functional and creative options and meets all packaging needs.
6. Beneficial To Customers
For a very long time, consumers often tried to ignore the adverse health effects of traditional packaging methods. Being that these packaging methods were made from petrochemical resources, like crude oil, which is often toxin-filled and liable to cause one or more health issues, like cancer, poisoning, and much more. In recent times, there have been talks of microplastics being found in the human system, a result of inhaling and consuming microplastics from food packaging.
That being said, sustainable packaging is a healthier choice. Sustainable packaging materials are made from toxin- and allergen-free materials devoid of many harmful substances that can affect your health.
A switch to e-commerce ventures using sustainable packaging also directly translates to a healthier lifestyle for consumers, leading to a longer lifespan and a safer future for both the consumers, as well as the business.
7. Increases Sales
As the world is shifting to more sustainable practices, consumers are on the lookout for brands that are environment-friendly, as well as pro-future and pro-life.
Today, consumers take into consideration how proactive they are when it comes to the environment, and are willing to pay extra for products and packaging that are eco-friendly. This, as a result, could translate to higher sales, one because they’d be flocking to your business for your sustainable practices, plus they’d be paying you more than usual just to avail themselves of your eco-friendly offerings.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to worry about losses associated with incorporating sustainable packaging into your brand as customers are willing to go the extra mile. That way, you’ll have a loyal client base and high sales at every turn.
Gone are the days when purchases were only made in shops and traditional packaging methods were the thing of the day. Today, e-commerce ventures have been taking big leaps to ensure a more progressive financial society. And, with the help of sustainable packaging, both the environment and the e-commerce industry are on a progressive and long-lasting path.
Sustainable packaging isn’t only the no, but also the future of e-commerce and society at large. Any e-commerce venture that digs into this goldmine will create a sustainable market for itself, as well as a sustainable future for the world.