Plastic seems to be getting a pretty big wrap this year with its contribution to pollution and not being recycled properly. This year and last, plastic straws got caught in the headlights and became a big topic of discussion. Some restaurants banned plastic straws and went with a better alternative while others worked on manufacturing a better option. Slowly the shelves in the aisle of your favorite grocery store started slotting more Eco-friendly products. We have been seeing better optimized packaging that no longer uses unnecessary materials.
Looking at the world’s top 20 mass of mismanaged plastic waste the US is at the bottom and China is at the top with Indonesia following. We may not be a big contributor but we are still part of the problem and this gives us an opportunity to pave the way in innovating better alternatives. Even though we are at the bottom of this list and other ones it’s still something that should be addressed if it has only worsened.
The Eco-friendly movement in packaging has been underway for some time now but seems to be getting more notice. People are raising more awareness of the negative effects of certain materials and how poorly they break down.
Brand owners in the CPG industry will be increasing spending on packaging next year and focus on consumer convenience. Just in the last year a study showed 85% of brand owners changed packaging to be more easily recyclable. With consumers more focused on convenience in everything they buy, packaging will become smaller and use less packaging material.
Look at how a t-shirt is packaged it comes in a yellow mailing envelop and then it’s put into a thin clear bag with a label on it. Instead of everything packaged in thick corrugated more products are being packaged with less unnecessary materials.
Companies have been using environmentally friendly packaging for years and we may have not noticed it or paid a lot of attention to it.