Eco-friendly packaging was becoming the norm. If your brand wasn’t up to speed with the latest in sustainable packaging then you already had a black mark against your name. Then came COVID-19 and everything was turned on its head. Online shopping skyrocketed and millions of people were suddenly getting their products shipped to their doorstep in the traditional brown cardboard box. People were more concerned about what materials could transmit the virus than the effects of that packaging on the environment. Our job as responsible printers and packagers is to find the balance between these two (sometimes) competing desires.
Now that we have more understanding about materials that can transmit the virus, we can make environmentally safe as well as health-conscious decisions about what we use for packaging. What is your package coated with? Will it be sprayed with a disinfectant that will compromise the integrity of the material? How many people will handle that package to get it out your door? These are some of the questions to ask yourself when looking at the materials your brand decides to use for packaging.
Whatever materials you decide to use, base those decisions on your processes and your industrial requirements. The biggest mistake you can make is just copying what a competitor in your industry is doing. They have different systems in place and different requirements based on their staff, their facility and the materials they have access to. Remember, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to eco-friendly packaging.
How can you incorporate more sustainable practices in your packaging? First of all, take a step back and look at your processes from a bird’s eye view. Can you change your packaging process to save energy? Can you reduce waste along the way? With fresh eyes look at your packaging ingredients, your production process and the reusability of your packaging.
COVID-19 may have temporarily hit the pause button on people’s eco-friendly choices, but we’re ready to hit play. We can help guide your packaging choices so that your company leads the way in sustainability and safety with a tailor-made solution designed specifically for you. Remember, you don't have to sacrifice style for sustainability.