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As sustainability and eco-friendliness are becoming a key concern for people and governments all over the world, companies are starting to shift towards more sustainable ways of doing business. This means reducing the carbon footprint by cutting back on the waste they produce and sourcing products in a way that does not negatively affect the environment.
As more and more people value the need to avoid waste and become aware of their consumption habits, they are preferring products that are more environment-friendly and sustainable.
One of the things that customers nowadays actively look for is sustainable packaging. Since they want to cut back on the amount of waste they produce, they are leaning more towards sustainable packages that are good for the environment.
Businesses can take note of the change in customer preferences and shift their focus towards becoming more eco-friendly. They can start this by taking the steps to create a sustainable packaging plan for their products.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
Sustainable packaging is packaging that is environmentally friendly and that does not negatively affect the environment. This means that the packaging and materials used for packaging are sourced from sources that do not contribute to higher carbon emissions. Also, the packages are disposable easily and do not affect the environment.
You have to understand that there is more carbon-di-oxide creation in manufacturing and sourcing certain products. The higher carbon-di-oxide emission cannot be offset by the natural environment and this leads to global warming and ultimately climate change. So, in order to be sustainable, you have to use products/materials sourced from sources with fewer carbon emissions.
There is also the need to not add waste to the environment when you’re disposing of packages. Eco-friendly packages should be sustainable and not lead to accumulative waste in a landfill. Usually, environmentally friendly packaging is recyclable, reusable, and degradable.
Since eco-friendly packaging can be a bit costly, they increase your packing or shipping costs. This is a small price to bear for committing to sustainability. Usually, customers recognize your push towards being more sustainable and are happy to pay extra for eco-friendly solutions.
Why is Sustainable Packaging Important?
Sustainable packaging is genuinely important as customers are seeking more eco-friendly solutions in their daily lives. There is a move towards living sustainable lifestyles and sustainable packaging appeals a lot to buyers.
As a seller, you can be genuinely interested in reducing your carbon footprint and deliver sustainable solutions for your customers. If yes, you should go ahead with a good sustainable packaging plan that can be seamlessly integrated into your operations to serve your customers. Remember, by opting for sustainable alternatives, you’re signaling to your customers that you care about the environment and issues like global warming and climate change.
While there are sellers who definitely try to ride the new shift in customer preferences to market their products as ‘eco-friendly’ to appeal to environment-conscious buyers, you should try to stay clear of this tactic if you aren’t genuinely interested in reducing your carbon footprint. Your buyer’s trust in you shouldn’t be broken for simply appealing to more customers. When you’re mentioning terms like ‘natural’, ‘non-toxic’, ‘biodegradable’, and ‘BPA-free’, make sure that you actually care for the environment and are working on your environmental goals.
Sustainable Packaging Options
As a B2B seller, you have a few sustainable packaging options available. You have to weigh the pros and cons of switching to sustainable packaging and should always proceed with caution in the initial stages. You do not want to risk your customer orders as you’re moving to a new sustainable packaging solution. We suggest you take your time and slowly make the transition to sustainable packaging.
Here are 5 sustainable packaging options available for B2B sellers.
Going plastic-free will be a huge step forward in the direction of environmental friendliness as a seller. Plastics that find their way into landfills can take up to 500 years to decompose. They are harmful to the environment and many ecosystems.
Bioplastics are plastic-like materials made from plant-based materials. Unlike plastics, bioplastics are compostable and degradable and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Bioplastics are usually made from glucose, protein, or starch that are derived from plants. Other materials used to make bioplastics include corn, beans, sugarcane, seaweed, and algae.
Bioplastics can decompose in three to six months. They don’t cause much harm to the environment since they are made from non-toxic materials.
Meanwhile, bioplastics are more expensive than regular plastic and hence increase the cost of packaging or shipping. If customers are happy with your products and love your move to sustainable packaging solutions, they will not mind paying a little extra for sustainability.
While paper cannot replace all kinds of packaging, it is a good start towards sustainable packaging. Try to use paper packaging for small products initially. You can use cardboard boxes for items you know are safe to ship in cardboard boxes.
You should identify product wrappings that are in plastic that do not require plastic wrapping. Good examples of this are bars of soap, books, and notebooks.
Paper can be easily replaced and you can make every effort to add it to your sustainable packaging plan.
- Compostable Packaging
Compostable packaging is a great option to add as a seller. These packages are often plant-based and highly degradable. This means that they do not leave any harmful material pile-up in landfills. The packaging also aids in the regeneration of fertile soil.
A lot of companies that sell health supplements are switching to compostable packaging that is not only attractive but also environmentally friendly.
- Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
Biodegradable packing peanuts can replace Styrofoam packing peanuts to provide a more eco-friendly option. These biodegradable peanuts are easily degradable and most of them can actually be dissolved in water.
They are made from starch that comes from potatoes, corn, and other plants. Though biodegradable packing peanuts are a bit more expensive, they are non-toxic and more sustainable.
Cork is made from the bark of the Cork Oak Tree. This material is sturdy and looks good for packaging. Since the bark of the tree grows back and can be harvested again, the activity of getting more bark does not harm the tree.
Containers made of cork are durable and can absorb some shock. Hence, they are good for shipping items that need protection over sea and air.
While being biodegradable and sustainable, cork is resistant to fire and can eliminate moisture and odor. This is why you see cork used to plug bottles of champagne and wine.
Sustainable packaging goals are hard to hit, but not impossible. There are a few brands that are actively moving to sustainable solutions for packaging and you can win over your customers by committing to doing the same. For example, Dell has replaced Styrofoam with a plant-based packaging made out of mushrooms and other plants. You can start small and replace individual parts of your packaging with sustainable packaging to impress your customers and stand by your commitment to eco-friendly living. Weigh the pros and cons of your decision and choose the right sustainable packaging option for your needs.
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