Why should you choose a sustainable packaging solution?
As public interest in sustainability grows, and the idea of environmental responsibility becomes more commonplace, many businesses are questioning what their role in this change is.
Should they, as an organisation, choose to lessen their environmental impact? Why is it important to do so? And what can they even do?
For small to medium sized businesses especially, making meaningful change toward greater sustainability can feel daunting, even overwhelming. It can also feel like a low priority when faced with the daily whirlwind of business.
However, it is becoming vital for all businesses to begin thinking about what their environmental impact is, and how to lessen it.
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to do so is to overhaul the packaging used with your products.
Australia’s Growing Environmental Education
In the past, Australia’s waste problem was a lot less urgent. A great deal of our rubbish was simply bundled up and shipped over to countries like China and Vietnam, to be used as raw materials. For Australians it was out of sight, out of mind.
However, as the manufacturing capabilities of these countries grew, they stopped accepting our waste. So, suddenly we had a whole lot of rubbish on our hands and limited capacity to deal with it.
This led to us as a society becoming more conscious of the damaging potential of waste and landfills. Australians are rapidly becoming far more educated about the problems we face, as governments, schools and public institutions, work to help inform them about the seriousness of this issue.
Over the past few years, it has gone from being a problem we remembered briefly when filling our green bins, to gaining serious traction in the public consciousness.
This has increased the societal concern about rubbish – many consumers are now committed to doing their bit to reduce the problem.
Shows Your Commitment to Customers
Because of this shift, chances are, a large percentage of your customers would support and even expect a move towards better sustainability from the businesses – like yours – which they support.
As exposure on the issue continues, more and more consumers see it as a priority in when deciding to give their loyalty to businesses they patronise.
According to the Finder Green Consumer Report for 2022, nearly 9 in 10 Australians (88%) have reduced their environmental impact in some way, and 1 in 2 Australians actively looks for greener products or services.
Therefore, no matter your key customer base, some of them are guaranteed to appreciate your environmental concern.
Altering your packaging from straight-to-landfill to a recyclable or biodegradable option is sure-fire way to prove your sustainability commitment to your customers. It’s straightforward – with a clear and immediate influence on waste production – and it’s a tangible change customers can understand.
Because you’ll be relying on them to do the actual recycling as well, this allows them to feel involved in the process, as though they are ‘doing their bit’.
From a business’s perspective, it allows you to make a significant material change without having to disrupt your actual business processes. If you simply switch to packaging that does the same job but is recyclable, the only downside may be increased costs. However, considering the extra business it will bring you, this is a minor concern.
While moving to sustainable packaging solutions may feel like a relatively small change to you, it can have a massive impact.
Packaging – especially plastic packaging – is an enormous source of waste. It can take up to 450 years for plastic to break down in a landfill.
Only a small percentage of plastics currently in use in Australia have the potential to be recycled. Due to insufficient infrastructure, an even smaller percentage of this is actually recycled.
A huge percentage of our waste plastic then ends up in landfill. Or worse, it finds its way into our natural habitats – particularly the ocean – where it becomes a risk to marine life.
Therefore, swapping to sustainable plastic – anything that can be reused, recycled, or biodegraded – can make a sizeable difference to the environment.
Its that much less plastic clogging up our country. Packaging is only a small section of most food businesses. So its an easy thing to swap over without implicating your actual product but can create a massive difference.
Where to from here?
Recylcing programs like REDcycle™ offers easier recycling of soft plastics – which cannot go through the kerbside system – throughout Australia.
End-users of the plastics return them to REDcycle bins at designated locations, and these plastics are sorted and processed into items such as park benches and bollards.
Viking is a proud REDcycle™ Partner, offering REDcycle™ approved packaging solutions.