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14 jun 2021 —
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Top 4 ideas for eco-friendly packaging

What is eco-friendly packaging?

Eco-friendly packaging is commonly known as sustainable packaging. It can help to cut carbon emissions and generate far less waste, playing an important role in protecting our planet. As there is no official definition of an eco-friendly packaging, find out if your packaging is sustainable enough.

 

How recognize an eco-friendly packaging?

To recognize an eco-friendly packaging, just ask you or your supplier the right questions.

1. Is the material renewable or recycled? Renewable material is a material made of natural resources which will replenish after being used and consumed, generation after generation.

2. Is the packaging reusable or recyclable? A recyclable packaging can be collected, processed and returned to use in the form of raw materials or goods. The recyclability of packaging depends on its nature and composition. Mono-material, for example, is better for recycling.

3. Does it have a low carbon footprint? Select the appropriate film, put the right machinery and reduce the size of the box, you help reducing your carbon footprint.

4. Is your packaging adjusted to the size of your products? Bespoke packaging is the best way to get to it and reduce packaging consumption.

 

A long-life cycle for your eco-friendly packaging

Review your whole value chain to make sustainable packaging possible and make the best steps towards an eco-friendly and innovative packaging solution for your products.

  • Sourcing is the first step to undertake. Always prefer sustainable raw or innovative materials for an eco-friendly packaging. To choose the right raw material, prioritize renewable materials such as wood-based materials certified FSC or PEFC or recyclable materials, such as thermoplastics like PE or PP. You can also choose recycled materials, such as paper or cardboard, to process your sustainable packaging.

 

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  • Design is also the best way to adapt packaging to the product and avoid over-packaging. As empty space and excess packaging material frustrate consumers and create a negative brand experience, improve customer experience by choosing the right packaging for the right product. $46 billion could be saved annually worldwide in logistics costs by eliminating empty space in packaging, says The Empty Space Economy by Forbes Insights in 2018. Custom packaging boxes designed by engineers allow to adjust to the minimum size needed and reduce empty parts. A smaller and lighter packaging also cuts shipping costs and fuel consumed.
     
  • To have a greener transport, why not think global and act local? A local production of your packaging is a social, economic and sustainable way to reduce transport environmental footprint and fuel consumption of transport vehicles. Reducing the overall size and weight of packaging (see above) and optimizing the loading also reduces the number of vehicles and their carbon consumption. Smaller and lighter parcels are easier to send and ship. And if your raw material is also produced locally, it’s even more environmentally friendly!
     
  • Effective recyclability is the final objective of eco-friendly packaging. Focus on flexible or mono-materials as well as biodegradable, plant-based and other eco-friendly alternatives to integrate packaging into a circular supply chain. Some materials biodegrade more quickly. Get accurate recycling information from CSR experts in order to make sure your products will be effectively collected, sent to a recovery facility to be sorted, cleaned and processed into materials that can be used in manufacturing, just like raw materials would be.

 

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How to Protect the Future?

As a result of the pandemic, the importance of sustainable packaging solutions is becoming impossible to ignore. Most companies and brands are taking account of the consumer’s demand for more sustainable, eco-friendly packaging. Over two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for packaging which had less impact on the environment. In the UK, 50% of the consumers said in 2020 they had already switched brands based on concerns about packaging.* Therefore, the current linear model of the packaging industry should be reviewed.

This is why Antalis aims to contribute actively to improving the situation by sourcing sustainable materials from responsible suppliers, designing eco-friendly solutions and reducing CO2 emissions throughout the value chain.

 


* According to the latest McKinsey survey about packaging 2020 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/meet-the-next-normal-consumer

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