Understanding Sustainable Packaging

We’re all happy to be going green these days. The worldwide population is increasing, as is the global economy, and both are wreaking havoc on our planet’s natural resources.

Consumers want environmentally friendly solutions, businesses are turning to green marketing, and now everyone wants environmentally friendly packaging. The issue is that this idea extends well beyond recyclability and reusability.

Although a product that is sustainably packaged has a favorable impression, brands that want to capitalize on the trend must go a step further and work on its particular requirements as well as its broader concept.

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging refers to packaging that is more environmentally friendly or sustainable. The top sustainable packaging makers will undertake a thorough life cycle evaluation to identify a product’s impact on the environment simply by what it’s composed of—in order to decide whether or not it’s earth-friendly.

Developing a sustainable packaging concept

The preceding definition may appear hazy, and such statements are tough to back up, which is why advertisers can’t use it to sell their “green” and “eco-friendly” plans to customers. Clear and precise environmental advantages are at the heart of sustainable packaging.

Packaging was once considered “sustainable” provided it satisfied five criteria: it had to be removable, reductive, recyclable, renewable, and reusable. Later, the list was condensed to the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle – with the addition of a new concept: rethink. This was about pushing companies to pursue more environmentally friendly choices.

Sustainable packaging now refers to a company’s entire sustainability as well as its environmental effect. While packaging standards vary per organization, such as SPC, ISO, or CEN, intelligent businesses take them into account and work on the package’s complete life cycle.

Much of that attention is focused on the end-of-life stage and the SPC guidelines that were amended in 2011.

What are the benefits of sustainable packaging?

Even now, brands are still searching for innovative, more sustainable materials. Eco-friendly packaging is another method to show that you care about the environment while also listening to your consumers’ concerns.

They advocate for mindful consumerism and recognize the worldwide advantages it provides. These advantages include a lower carbon footprint, elimination of allergies and pollutants, more storage and space, and overall resource conservation.

For businesses, it implies cheaper long-term production and transportation costs, as well as increased sales because customers are willing to pay more for sustainable items.

Examples of environmentally friendly, long-lasting packaging

You can’t just come up with sustainable packaging out of nowhere to show how hip and socially conscious you are. However, it makes sense to change direction in order to squander less and encourage ideals of responsible consumerism. Here are six instances of business that know how to accomplish precisely that.

Procter & Gamble (P&G)

P&G is focusing on packaging materials that promote recyclability while protecting its products. Their transition from boxed to bagged items is one stage, but their Ambition 2030 strategy is significantly more ambitious. It entails reducing waste by 20% per customer usage and boosting the use of recycled resin in plastic packaging.

In addition, they intend to make 90% of packaging recyclable, up from 86 percent in 2018.

The company works hard to enable and inspire sustainable lifestyles among its customers and partners. They educate the former by placing matching information on the packaging, while they invest in innovative initiatives focusing on plastics sorting and increasing recycling sites for the latter.


As an industry leader, Coca-Cola is powerful and responsible enough to establish standards for sustainable packaging and promote their consumers’ sustainable behavior. This is Forward, their 2017 sustainability plan, focuses on three priorities: beverages, packaging, and people. The brand encourages people to join its eco-friendly movement by offering recycled bottles to the market.

Coca-Cola has Sustainability Goals as well as a Packaging Sustainability Action Plan. They want to utilize 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, and at least 50 percent of the material used for bottles will be recycled plastic. They also intend to collaborate with Coca-Cola partners in Western Europe and across the world to re-collect 100 percent of their packaging.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer’s Plan A, announced in 2007, continues to empower customers and employees to have a good influence on the environment. Every year, they set a goal of 100 goals to commit to, each of which addresses one of five areas for improved sustainability: health, waste, collaboration, resources, and climate change. For the time being, M&S touts 85 percent of extensively recycled materials and has eliminated all plastics from their service.

Their commitments in Plan A 2025 are to develop packages with the circular economy in mind. It entails decreasing resources and making all packaging totally reusable or recyclable while maintaining maximum product integrity. In addition, they hope to decrease food waste in half by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their operations by 80% by 2030.

What is the future of sustainable packaging?

There are many brands that still interpret sustainability as recyclability and have no idea where all the plastic goes or how it is recycled into biodegradable and reusable materials. Consumers, on the other hand, desire to know the backstory of a product. As a result, it’s worthwhile to consider a product’s complete lifespan, including its packaging materials and recycling methods.

Going green or sustainable is no longer enough for companies looking to lessen their environmental footprint. It is about striving for long-term sustainability.