Why Sustainable Packaging is Profitable and Good for the Environment
2019-01-28 11:22 Monday
Although sustainability is becoming an increasingly influential factor for consumers in making purchasing decisions, many enterprises have not fully considered sustainability and recycling when choosing the design, use and packaging for their products, and most packaging is still disposable and non-recyclable.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, only 14% of plastic packaging used worldwide is recycled. Most troubling is that 40% of waste will end up in landfills and a third in fragile ecosystems such as the ocean. It is projected that by 2050 there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Fortunately, some pioneering organizations are attempting to change this by investing time and resources to develop circular packaging solutions. Unilever notes in an international study that "a third of consumers now choose to buy products that are socially or environmentally beneficial".
Some companies are adopting ambitious goals, such as using 100% recycled materials in the production of new packaging.
Indorama Ventures has formed a joint venture with Loop Industries to develop 100% sustainably produced PET resins and polyester fibers using Loop's technology. Commercial production is planned for early 2020.
Procter & Gamble is also reconsidering how to increase the use of recycled plastic -- through internal research and development efforts, it has developed recycling technology for polypropylene plastic to produce a material that could serve as a quality alternative to polypropylene.
Environmental and social benefits are not the only drivers of change -- as leading companies shift their strategies towards sustainable and innovative packaging design, they have successfully opened up new sources of revenue and created unique competitive advantages within their respective industries.