Common Myths About Sustainable Packaging

For good reasons, sustainable packaging is becoming more and more ubiquitous across all industries, so let’s look into some of the common myths that surround it. In recent years, many consumers have taken a vested interest in the sustainability of the products they buy and the businesses they patronize. This has led to a surge of eco-friendly packaging for all kinds of products, both online and in brick and mortar retail stores. Along with the meteoric rise in popularity of environmentally conscious packaging has come an abundance of myths about what kind of materials are best, which buyers are most interested, what consumers think about it, and more. Because of this, we’re digging into four of the most common myths surrounding sustainable packaging and analyzing just how accurate they are or are not.  

Myth 1: Sustainable Packaging Costs Too Much 

Incorrect. Simply put, this is more complicated than the sticker price of a given material. While the initial cost of green packaging may be a bit higher than its less conscious counterpart, it can also help a business create a solid marketing strategy and foster positive relationships with their buyers who actively seek sustainable brands and products. In fact, one study found that 55% of its respondents stated that they would spend at least 5% more on a product if it was contained in sustainable packaging and 57% said they were less likely to purchase an item if it was packaged in non-eco-friendly components.  Additionally, companies who eliminate excess packaging and reduce material waste will actually save money by minimizing the total amount of packaging they use, which also costs less to transport.  

Myth 2: Only Millennials Care About the Environment 

Wrong. Consumers across all generations care deeply about the natural world around us and how the products we buy impact the environment. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Gen Z are all interested in safeguarding the world’s natural resources and ensuring that our planet is livable for many years to come. Sustainability factors into the buying decisions of a wide variety of buyers, and this means that brands can’t focus solely on Millennials when marketing their eco-conscious products. If these items appeal to buyers in different generations, then it’s also important to show your consumer base that the packaging material used has minimal impact on the environment.  

Myth 3: Recyclability is the Only Factor in Packaging Sustainability 

False. While the ability to recycle packaging materials is incredibly important, it’s not the only consideration we should make when seeking sustainable options. Instead of looking only to the end of a package’s life, it’s necessary to examine its total lifecycle, including the manufacturing process, how it’s transported, and what most users will do with it after they receive it. One such example to look at is glass packaging. Glass is fully recyclable, but has an incredibly energy-intensive manufacturing process, frequently ends up landfills (where it can take up to a million years to decompose), and weighs significantly more than flexible plastics, which means that more fuel must be used to ship it. This makes the overall carbon footprint of glass larger than that of plastic, even though many people assume it is better for the environment because it is so easily recycled.  

Myth 4: There are Few Options for Sustainable Packaging and They all Look Bad 

Nope. In all actuality, there are an immense number of sustainable packaging materials that can be used to contain and ship your products. These could be anything from plant-based bioplastics to corrugated boxes that are manufactured with recycled material or eco-friendly recycled kraft paper void fill. And just because these components are better for the environment, it doesn’t mean they have to look plain or dull. Any sort of packaging material can be enhanced with eye-catching designs, exciting product information, an intriguing minimalist aesthetic, and more. All you need to do is use your creative talents to maximize the appeal of any package you utilize.  

Sustainable Packaging Benefits Everyone 

Sustainable packaging is a more complex issue than many people realize, but there are a variety of factors relating to it that are very simple. Above all, it’s necessary for brands and manufacturers to utilize environmentally friendly packaging materials. These components are what consumers want and, above all else, they help to minimize harmful impacts on our planet and atmosphere. When selecting the best eco-conscious packaging for your products, be sure to make conscientious decisions that work best for you while benefiting the world around us at the same time.