Is plastic packaging the main role of your packaging solutions? It’s time to start saying goodbye to it. And the “plastic packaging habit” here refers to the habit of abuse and waste. It might be unwise to abandon all the plastics at least for now. The cost is huge to deal with the abandoned plastic packaging both environmentally and economically. But it’s smart to stop the habit of wasting and abusing plastic packaging step by step.

Why wave plastic packaging goodbye?

Environmental impact of plastic packaging

The plastic products have once got bad publicity as the star in White Pollution. Abused plastic materials have caused many problems. The massive landfill, the harm to the animals and seas, and many more that you can name it. Today, billions of tons of plastic waste are still adding to the landfills globally every year. Fortunately, more and more people and companies have realized the environmental problems. And they are looking for ways to solve them. Thus, the increasing demand for more eco-friendly packaging options than ordinary plastics. Some say business is all about cost and benefits despite the impact on the environment. Is it worth replacing the whole plastic packaging supply chain? Certainly, it’s a tough maneuver to complete the change for most businesses. We do understand the difficulty. The money, the time, the people, and other factors. All these matters. However, it’s wised to gradually switch the packaging to more eco-friendly options. We’re sure you will make it if you care about the benefits of your business. The long-term benefits in particular. Now let’s see what benefits does it bring by saying goodbye to plastic packaging habits.

Increased brand vision and identity

Many consumers throughout the world prefer to purchase from companies with stronger commitments to the environment. And the population of the pro-environment group is growing. Studies and practices showed that companies with a better environmental reputation are more likely to draw customer satisfaction. Hence, potentially greater sales performance and customer loyalty.

Evidence by numbers

Evidence from a global survey released by the video-conferencing company Tandberg. It has revealed that 53% of global consumers prefer to buy from a company with a strong environmental reputation. 53% of global consumers represent 1.1 billion people. According to another study by Unilever, 21% of consumers would actively choose brands with clearer evidence of sustainability on their packaging.
The study asked 20,000 adults from five countries. This represents a potential untapped opportunity of €966 billion out of a €2.5 trillion total market for sustainable goods. (source: https://www.unilever.com/news/Press-releases/2017/report-shows-a-third-of-consumers-prefer-sustainable-brands.html)
Given the numbers and facts, businesses responsible for the environment tend to attract more customers. And for environmental responsibility, one of the practices is how to deal with plastic packaging.

Practices of leading companies

McDonald’s faced severe public pressure for environmental problems in the late 1980s. The fast-food giant massively switched to foam packaging during that period. Then the polystyrene plastic sandwich box (aka clamshell) used to be the views in every street. And they were one of the key players in the White Pollution. The pressure from the public about environmental responsibility didn’t stop. Although McDonald’s phased out plastic packaging during the decades. Read more about McDonald’s packaging history on McDonald’s and the Polystyrene Connections And the effort on reducing plastic packaging has never stopped. Recently, for example, McDonald’s has opened a nearly plastic-free restaurant in Berlin.
All McDonald’s restaurants in Germany serve all of their in-house hot drinks in porcelain or glass mugs, rather than paper cups with plastic lids. McDonald’s UK is removing plastic lids from all of its McFlurry options, a change that will reduce plastic waste by 383 metric tons per year. (source: https://bioplasticsnews.com/2019/10/04/what-we-learned-from-berlin-plastic-free-mcdonalds-experiment/)
McDonald’s has enhanced its eco-friendly image by continuously solid practices in the reduction of plastic packaging. As a result, customers are willing to pay for their environmental commitments today. Besides, more and more companies are striving to reduce plastic pollution, including:
  • Unilever, the famous global giant of consumer goods.
  • ASDA, the UK food retailer.
  • Costa Coffee, one of the world’s largest coffee companies.
  • Evian, the world-famous brand of bottled water.
  • Tottenham Hotspur, the English professional football club in the Premier League.
And more. Today, these leading companies/organizations have established their reputations through their commitments to the environment. This doesn’t come cheap and requires continuous practice. But the brand vision and continuous sales growth witness their success. Join the trend as these leading companies. The road ahead may belong. But you could start by gradually switching your plastic packaging strategy. Ask our experienced specialist for packaging solutions. Government policy is another key factor hosting the farewell to the plastic packaging habit.

Government policy on plastic packaging

To reduce the impact of plastic packaging, government policies in various countries have come into effect.
Ministers agreed to the target that 100% of Australian packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. (source: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/plastics-and-packaging/packaging-covenant)
This aims to cut down on the amount of packaging waste in Australia. And the Australian Packaging Covenant will deliver the 100% target. Since 1999, the organization has been the principal national instrument to reduce the environmental impacts of consumer packaging in Australia. It has 950 member companies and other stakeholders. As an Australian packaging company, PrimePac has strived to offer sustainable packaging solutions with its best effort. In the UK, on the other hand. The government has introduced new controls on single-use plastic items from April 2020, according to BBC’s report. And the plastic packaging tax will take effect from April 2022. Know more about the plastic packaging tax in the UK.

Alternatives over plastic packaging

Recyclable and reusable packaging

Paper-based packaging

With its household name, paper-based packaging is one of the most common alternatives to plastics.
After the main paper material finishes their missions in the frontline, the leftover pieces continue the cycle. Scrap paper is the raw material of a variety of products such as fiber-board, paper sacks, wrapping paper, and more. Moreover, many companies are adopting and developing paper-based bottles as containers for coffee, soft drinks, and other beverages. You can easily find the paper coffee cups when you try to get some coffee in many coffee shops today. All in all, paper packaging is a wised choice with eco-friendly packaging ideas. It is a competitive alternative over the other packaging solutions. (source: https://www.primepac.com.au/food-packaging-market/)
Check the paper-based packaging solutions now.

Bio-based Plastics

Plastics are still good companions when it comes to moisture-proof performance. And bio-based plastics offer an eco-friendly option over traditional plastic packaging. PLA (aka polylactic acid) is the popular bio-based plastics family. The raw material of PLA comes from the starch of fermented plants. And the PLA material will finally decompose in the environment. However, the abuse of bio-based plastics can cause environmental impacts too. Unlikely to add to the landfill. But the increasing demand for them could lead to shortages of food given the growing population. Therefore, whatever materials to use, awareness of environmental impact remains the most critical. And traditional plastic packaging can play well in reducing environmental impact without abuse. Despite their durability, plastics also mean that plastic waste can linger in our environment for many centuries, even if not handled properly. Although plastics can easily deteriorate into pieces due to wear and tear, their polymer chains only break down into other smaller components at very high temperatures, such as in some chemical recycling processes. Today, however, only 15 percent of plastic waste is recycled. The world still largely follows a “linear economy” model (sometimes called “trade-off discard”), in which raw materials are used to make products and discarded only when they have a short life. If we can remember the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – in that particular order of priority, the transition to a more sustainable model is not rocket science.

Reusable Plastic Packaging

You can easily make a good deed by reusing your traditional plastic packaging. For example, keep the plastic boxes of your new gadgets. And use them later for the other goods. Typically, when you send them out or take them with you during the vacations. This is going to lower the demand for new plastic products. The cost of settling the abandoned ones can outweigh the cost of new production. Therefore, reusable plastic packaging is also another eco-friendly option. Remember to use them as much as possible. Get more eco-friendly packaging ideas here.

Optimized packaging solutions

Optimized packaging solutions guarantee product safety while reducing unnecessary packaging. This can effectively reduce the waste and abuse of both plastic and other materials. The optimization of packaging solutions covers all processes from designing, selecting packaging materials to choose the proper packaging portfolio. For example, you want your jelly in a pouch with an accurate size. You can always put it in bigger pouches though. But doing this can avoid customers posting negative comments like an oversized bag and little to drink on their SNS. Meanwhile, choosing the proper solutions requires both knowledge and experience in the packaging field. If you need help, feel free to let us know.

Bio-ink makes it fully green

Plastic packaging has been popular until today. One of the reasons is the combination of various colors. While there are limits in the colors for most fully compostable packaging. Kraft printing, for example, typically a maximum of 2 colors. Some might question, there are bunches of boxes in the market with colorful covers. Pretty true. However, we are talking about fully compostable, including the ink. Not every box or paper-based packaging comes with bio-ink. Some of the ink can do harm the environment and hurt humans. Meanwhile, the limit of 2 colors in the packaging offers only a few options in branding. Fortunately, PrimePac now offers a full-color printing solution on its whole bio-compost line. And of course, that comes with bio-ink. Even water-based adhesive we apply does no harm to the environment if buried into the ground.

When less is more

You probably have spent plenty of time getting the right packaging solutions for your products. At the same time, there are some other easy little tricks in life. The small every day habits can lead to a great impact on the environment. Learn these tips below and join the farewell to the plastic packaging habit.
  1. Carry reusable shopping bags.
  2. Give up bottled water.
  3. Carry your own containers for take-out food and leftovers.
  4. Buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags.
  5. Keep your own reusable foodware at the office.
Find out more on 100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life.