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How to Reduce Harmful Plastic Waste and Promote Eco-Friendly Packaging

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As awareness about the various harmful effects of plastic is rising, the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging is gaining momentum. Everyone is aware of the dangers plastic is causing. Consumers, especially the younger generation is looking for alternatives and tends to support brands who promote eco-friendly packagings.

This shift in consumer behavior is a great opportunity for FMCG manufacturing companies to leverage their creativity and contribute to an environment-friendly cause. Promoting green packaging can help brands leverage the opportunity of connecting with your customer on a more deeper level.  

If you look around plastic is everywhere, most of the plastic we use is supposed to be used on repeated occasions but unfortunately, it’s been used only once and discarded.

Plastic waste isn’t the only problem, a lot of non-renewable resources and energy is used to produce plastic for example – to create a distilled water bottle consumes around 2000 times more energy than filtering tap water.

The damages done by plastic waste is becoming evident everyday, Given the amount of plastic we generate and the amount that goes waste, it is not a surprise that everyone is looking for alternatives to fulfill the needs generated by plastic. As a manufacturer, you should be aware of what your customer demands. You have a duty towards nature and as a responsible citizen, you should try to provide eco-friendly packaging to your customers.

It is probably impossible to completely eliminate plastic from our lives. All we could do is be careful in our approach and reduce the amount we use.     

Here are six practical ways to reduce harmful plastic waste and promote sustainable packagings.

Use Recyclable Materials

The first step towards promoting sustainable packaging is to use recyclable material in the packaging material itself. Using Recyclable and reusable material lets you use the product in a different form when its primary application is over.

Recyclable products like paper and cardboard are reusable and biodegradable. But the usage of such product should be done considering the item they are supposed to carry. Paper and cardboards are ideal for lightweight objects with a fixed shape.

Also, recyclable material needs less energy for production as well as disposal and therefore releases lower greenhouse gases.

So, using eco-friendly packaging not only helps nature but also reduce the economic burden from the shoulders of FMCG manufacturers.

Use an Industrial Shredder

Investing in an industrial shredder is a great way to deal with fibre waste like cardboards and papers. Paper shredding can provide cushioning to the items packed in cardboard boxes.  Also, it helps your company save money by giving you more options to protect your product. Using paper cushion makes your product lightweight and less expensive for shipping.  

Packagings should be marked with clear instructions

It is not always possible to manufacture a 100% biodegradable product. In such cases, the packagings should be marked with a clear method of disposal. This can reduce the risk of consumers disposing of the packaging in the wrong manner.

But this tip gets more crucial when your packaging is eco-friendly. This is because of two important reasons:-

First, it shows your consumer that your brand is environment-friendly. This way you can earn your customer’s trust, generate more sales and drive brand loyalty.

Secondly, your packaging must clearly advise your customers that it’s reusable. There is no point in producing an eco-friendly packaging if your customer is going to throw it in the dustbin.   

The first step in this process is to use symbols denoting eco-friendliness or changing the color of your packaging to green. You can get creative and use different methods to indicate your customer that you are into an eco-friendly venture.

Minimal Packaging and Design

It is wise to invest in minimal packaging and design. You need to know the exact amount of packaging material required to protect your product. Using minimal material will eventually result in minimal waste.

It includes reducing the thickness and weight of the packaging material, improving the design, form and function of the product, removing unnecessary internal packaging material. If possible, try to design a standard – fit for all packaging material. Do not use large packaging product to supply a small item, unless it is absolutely necessary.  

Minimalist design will be both economically feasible and aesthetically pleasing. It helps you solidify your brand identity by communicating your audience that you are a socially responsible company.

Use stretch wrapping wherever possible

Using stretchable wrappings instead of packaging each product separately can considerably reduce the amount of packaging material used. Product wrapped with stretchable films requires less space when compared to loose packagings.

You need to know some basics of stretch wrapping to attain efficiency and reduce shipping damage. Non-recyclable products which become unsuitable for use due to poor shipping arrangements are buried in a landfill unseen by the public, as it is the best way to deal with these damages.         

In long term, these practices affect the environment causing soil and water pollution. 

Train your staff and Manufacturing Unit

You may project yourself as an eco-friendly brand, but it is impossible to sustain this image until and unless your employees believe in your philosophy. There may be occasions where waste gets accumulated because your staff is unaware of the disposing methods. Your production unit must understand the science behind manufacturing eco-friendly packagings and try to implement those methods into your production.

It is necessary to create a proper communicating message which can be circulated among different departments to avoid confusion. For example:- Your manufacturing unit must be aware of how your products are disposed in order to provide an alternative solution if possible.

Summary

Reducing plastic waste by industries could go long way to make our planet and your organization go green. Eco-friendly packaging is the need of the hour. Each and every step your organization takes towards green initiatives will facilitate to reduce our carbon footprint. Promoting eco-friendly packagings is not only nature-friendly but it can also help your organization economically. Since sustainable packaging requires less energy to both manufacture and recycle.    

Revolution starts from within. You need to start this by making your staff embrace eco-friendly packagings and implementing sustainable practices within your own organization. Your customer will only believe in your truth if you as a manufacturer believes it first.

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