Why choose more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging methods? We can easily list many reasons to explain, but I think 6 of them are the most fundamental reasons, which can directly prove that sustainable business methods are crucial to our future, and at the same time, they are also important to economic development. Potentially huge boost. These factors include natural environmental factors, consumer and political factors, and economic and business factors, which provide a strong momentum for the development of sustainable materials.
1.Our planet needs sustainable packaging solutions
Globally, it is estimated that 42% of plastic is used in packaging, most of which are only used for single-use, so the problems caused by plastic pollution in the ecosystem are long-term and lasting.
- The recycling rate of plastic is only 10%, which means that 90% of plastic is incinerated, landfilled or directly discarded into the natural environment.
- Plastic typically takes 20 to 400 years, or more, to decompose.
- Fragments, or microplastics, from decomposed plastics end up in atmospheric circulation, in everything we touch, from water to food and soil.
Packaging with sustainable materials can break this negative cycle.
2.More and more countries and regions implement laws to reduce plastic packaging
In 2021, Australia announced the National Plastics Plan, which aims to ban single-use plastics by 2025. In addition to Australia, a growing number of countries and cities around the world are also taking action to ban single-use plastics.
- In the EU, the 2019 Single-Use Plastics Directive aims to combat the 10 most common single-use plastic items on European beaches, which account for 70% of all marine litter in the EU.
- In the US, states such as California, Hawaii and New York have begun legislation to ban single-use plastic items such as bags, forks and food containers.
- In Asia, countries such as Indonesia and Thailand are among the first to call for measures to ban single-use plastics.
Compared with the legislative pressure waiting for the government to issue, Morgan Stanley research reported that from 2018 to 2019 alone, the number of companies implementing “plastic strategies” in the United States more than doubled year-on-year. This shows that under the general trend in the future, enterprises are willing to pay relative profits to make changes to achieve environmental strategy and social responsibility goals. Of course, this does not rule out the possibility of commercial benefits brought about by the drive of sustainable packaging development. is a major factor.
3.Consumers prefer sustainable packaging materials
According to data from Ranpak and Harris research companies, e-commerce customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are willing to cooperate with companies that use sustainable packaging. In fact, over 70% of consumers in all these countries share this preference, while over 80% of consumers in the UK and France prefer sustainable packaging. Consumers’ love for sustainable packaging makes them more willing to see paper packaging instead of plastic to protect the items they buy.
Not only do consumers like to see paper packaging used inside the box, a 2013 study found that out of 12 materials, paper was the most popular, ranking five places above plastic and even ahead of velvet.
4.Sustainable packaging with good protection
There are many articles and materials claiming that plastics are better protected than other types of materials in packaging and transportation. This statement obviously does not stand up to scrutiny. Because sustainable materials have been used as packaging materials for thousands of years before plastics were widely used commercially.
- Although plastic was invented in 1869, it didn’t become ubiquitous until the advent of World War II, a period in which plastic production increased by 300%.
- Paper is probably the oldest packaging in the world, joining materials like metal and glass in a pre-industrial class of packaging materials.
- Paper is one of the world-recognized sustainable materials, which can meet almost all applications of in-box packaging, even including cold chain packaging.
In many applications, paper outperforms plastic in protection, sometimes by as much as 58%.
5.E-commerce is growing rapidly around the world
Ranpak’s e-commerce team research found that in 3 out of 4 countries, the UK, Germany, France and the US, more than half of consumers plan to buy more products online. In these markets, the growing popularity of food, catering and food delivery services also provides strong support for the development of e-commerce.
- eMarketer predicts that e-commerce penetration in the U.S. will more than double from 2019 to 2025, projected to grow from 11% to 23.6%.
- Globally, Mexico tops the top five fastest-growing e-commerce markets with a growth rate of 35%. The runners-up were India, the Philippines, China and Malaysia.
- In 2019, the total value of global e-commerce was 9.09 trillion US dollars.
It can be seen that sustainable packaging will be required by the growing global e-commerce activities.
6.Companies should improve the sustainability of their business models
Usually, Environment,Society and Governance are collectively referred to as ESG strategy, because consumers and investors are becoming more and more ecologically conscious, so they are listed as a key part of the development of many companies. By improving the resource efficiency of a business, a business can improve its score and potentially gain more business value, including improved brand reputation, customer and employee loyalty, and access to capital.
- ESG investing is becoming more and more popular. In the US alone, about a quarter of assets under management are ESG-rated investments—a total of about $12 trillion.
- The circular economy is expected to generate $4.5 trillion by 2030.
- Companies that improve ESG performance are more likely to attract and retain talent.
Based on the factors of global change, the increasing demand for environmental protection actions, the rapidly growing e-commerce business demand for sustainable packaging, and the need for enterprises to achieve a win-win situation between economic profit and sustainable development goals, it can be said with certainty that in the near future, the development Greener, more environmentally friendly, recyclable and sustainable packaging materials will be a major trend in the development of the packaging industry.