What are the sustainable packaging trends in 2023?
Sustainability has become a popular trend nowadays. All of us have seen many hashtags like #savetheworld #sustainability #zerowaste #gogreen etc hashtags that are going viral on several social media platforms. But what is the craze all about?
See the thing is, people are getting more and more aware of environmental concerns as these are not the things that are just for paperwork. People are facing consequences for their negligence towards Mother Nature.
This is high time to do something about it. When we look at the statistics provided by the United Nations Environment program, we will find that 36% of all the plastic that is produced in the world is from the packaging industry, out of which 85% of packaging waste ends up in the ocean. If we put it into numbers then it will be around 102,000,000,000 kg of plastic that ends up in oceans or landfills.
The future looks bleak when we talk about things in such a manner. But this is when we look at the numbers like these. This is why people are getting more and more aware of the things that they are using and where sustainable packaging plays an important role in this.
In this article, we will talk about what sustainable packaging is, its examples as well as the ways sustainable packaging can be achieved.
What is sustainable packaging?
Sustainable packaging is the kind of packaging that does not have huge carbon footprints, the material is sourced from renewable resources that will not affect the environment negatively.
The packaging is compatible with the three Rs of sustainability which are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
What is an example of sustainable packaging?
When we look around us we will find many good examples of sustainable packaging around you. Corrugated packaging boxes will be the simplest example that we can count on.
Let's take a closer look at this one. When we talk about sustainability, corrugated boxes fulfil all the criteria. The first R is reduced, most companies always look forward to ways that will reduce the weight or the usage of the package as much as possible.
The second and third Rs are reuse and recycle. Cardboard boxes are one of the most versatile packaging solutions. They are easy to store and much easier to reuse. We can see them being used as storage boxes as well as boxes used for shifting.
Of all the corrugated boxes that are produced by the packaging industry, almost 75% of it is recovered and recycled and then again the recycled material is reused to make other corrugated boxes.
This does not cause too much stress on the planet and resources.
Thus, this is the best example of sustainable packaging.
Another example would be kraft paper tape. This is different from the traditional plastic tape. As the name suggests this tape is made from Kraft paper which is a better option when it comes to sustainable packaging.
The adhesive of Kraft paper tape is strong enough to use as packaging tape. Along with it possess all the qualities of an ordinary tape plus you can write on it as well.
It is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about the items getting moisture plus it will be less harmful to the environment as well as sustainable.
What are the ways to achieve sustainable packaging?
In the above sections, we have talked about sustainable packaging, what it is as well as its example, which would have helped you to understand the concept of sustainability and sustainable packaging. In this section, we will talk about all the different ways that will help you to achieve sustainable packaging. We will talk about those ways in the following :
When we talk about biodegradable packaging, we are talking about the material that can be broken down by the microorganisms like fungi, plants, algae etc.
When we talk about making packaging sustainable, we don't always have to go all extremes and change everything at once. Taking small steps will be a great way to make your packaging sustainable.
One way to do so will be by using alternatives instead of the regular packaging methods.
It is impossible to talk about sustainability and not to talk about recycling. It is important to know that using recyclable as well as recycled material while packaging. Recycled material helps to take off the load from the resources. This type of material not only includes recycling paper or corrugated boxes but a vast variety of materials like glass, plastic, metal, timber, pulp, lead, etc.
Many high-end brands use recycled material to make their product packaging sustainable. Using recycled materials in making packaging will not only help with the cost and Mother Earth but also can be used as a great marketing tactic to create brand awareness among your target audience.
Minimalism is not only a trend at this point, it has become a lifestyle.
It has become popular in aesthetic beauty as well as in the designing agency. The word minimalistic means that a thing or place is reduced to its original purpose and usage.
When we talk about minimalist designs, we are talking about the functionality of packaging that does not have loud colours or bold designs but the look is more on the subtle or elegant side.
So how does it help in the sustainable trends? The thing about this type of design is that it prioritises the functionalities of packaging nothing more. These elegant, soft and calm designs stand out in itself when other brands are using flashy graphics.
In this modern era, we are accustomed to making things easier than before. This is true regarding packaging as well. When we are talking about sustainability we must remember the 3Rs. The first one, Rs is Reduce. Lightweight packaging was introduced to resolve the issue of consumption.
When we compare the traditional packaging and the new lightweight packaging then we will realise the resources and energy consumption is lower in the latter one.
If we look from the business perspective, then it will be beneficial to them as well. During the shipping process then packages are weighted and priced according to their weight. Using lightweight material will help in cost efficiency as well as saving Earth.
Eco-friendly printing Ink
Sustainable packaging should apply to all the parts of the packaging; big or small. When we think of using sustainable packaging, often minute things go unnoticed but when we leave them as they are, then even the smallest things will become a huge problem to solve.
This is true when it comes to ink. An innocent-looking ink has chemically contaminated many landfills as well as underground water supplies and continues to do so. The chemicals present in the ink have toxins which when degenerated into microparticles cause pollution at the molecular level.
The printing ink that is currently being used leaves a huge amount of carbon footprint every month which is equivalent to the Carbon Dioxide of 500 homes released into nature.
When we talk about alternatives then we can use inks that are made from algae or water solvent ink are popular sustainable choices among people.
To be concise
We are at the end of this article which is about the sustainable packaging trends in 2023. Here, we have talked about sustainable packaging and its example. Then we discussed the ways to achieve different ways through which we can achieve sustainable packaging. In that section, we talked about different types of sustainable trends that you can incorporate into your business.
We hope that you found this article useful.
Thank you for reading!
Suman Mandal has been in the packaging industry for a long time. She is passionate about the innovative ways this industry comes up with. Currently, she is writing for To The Packaging about various packaging solutions.