Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Hina Rubab
Eco-friendly food packaging refers to those materials that can be easily recycled, reused, safe for consumers, and manufactured with less energy consumption. An example of eco-friendly food packaging is the cardboard box. This is made from recycled paper pulp. Various products can come in cardboard boxes and these boxes can be reused several times before it gets to the garbage bin.
Responsible companies know that sustainability is not just a trend, but a commitment. One of the ways companies can honor this commitment is deliberately switching to eco-friendly food packaging. As the world struggles with environmental impacts of climate change and plastic pollution, more businesses are now promoting the use of eco-friendly food packaging as they enjoy the advantages listed below.
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Manufacturers particularly use eco-friendly food packaging as there are evolving health concerns among the consumers. Traditional packaging produced using harmful chemicals pose considerable risks to consumer health. Long term use and improper disposal of these traditional packaging can cause diseases as toxins and allergens get into the human body.
An example of this harmful toxin is Bisphenol A or BPA (and other known compounds), an intentionally used ingredient in metal cans, plastic containers, and ink. According to studies, Bisphenol compounds are linked to endocrine disruption and this cannot be consumed by humans especially infants. In 2012, BPA was banned by the FDA from being used in manufacturing feeding bottles and sippy cups.
Eco-friendly food packaging, on the other hand, is produced without these harmful chemicals. Most eco-friendly materials can easily be implemented as they also run on the same machines with traditional packaging. These are also biodegradable and so disposing them after use are not problematic in terms of contamination and sanitation.
Businesses switching to eco-friendly food packaging have one particular goal in terms of environmental impact. Their goal is to lower the carbon footprint – the total amount of greenhouse gasses produced for every manufacturing cycle. These greenhouse gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide directly contribute to global warming.
With eco-friendly packaging, there is less consumption of energy and less carbon footprint is generated during a product’s lifecycle. Less consumption of energy also means less energy cost for businesses. Another environmental benefit of eco-friendly packaging is improved air quality and waste disposal. Biodegradable packaging won’t be clogging our waterways. As we reuse and recycle packaging, we won’t need to use tons of plastic and this can help minimize the chronic pollution.
Adapting sustainable practices mean the company is also choosing to broadcast its values. This is what consumers see and this will affect their purchase behavior. A company that aims to acquire more leads must take into consideration that modern consumers are now looking at how companies create their products and its impact on the environment, workers, and overall public health.
A study in 2017 stated that 63% of Americans prefer that corporations should take a lead in driving social and environmental changes and 87% of American consumers will purchase from a company with advocacies similar to theirs. This could mean that sustainable practices can drive sales as more consumers start flocking to a brand. In this era of cancel and promotion culture – companies need to strive harder in maintaining their brand image as they make
The same thing can be said about investors. Increased brand awareness also results in opening more doors of opportunity with investors. Genuine efforts in becoming sustainable are easy to spot these days, as impact investing came into play. Capitalists, especially the virtual ones, are actively looking for companies with sustainable practices or those who “walk their talk”.
Embracing eco-friendly packaging, when done right, eventually benefits not just the environment, but also everyone else.