A shift in regulatory landscape is not only welcomed but necessary. What’s also important to note is the accompanying shift in consumer preferences toward better packaging. Data collected by Accenture found that not only were plastics perceived as the least environmentally-friendly type of packaging by 77% of the survey respondents (while paper products were ranked the highest by 55%) but more than half of consumers said they would pay more for sustainable products that are designed to be reused or recycled.10
As Jeremia Adatte, a designer and administrator at Adatte Design, summed up: “Today, brands look for innovative packaging because their customers care about waste.”11 And we are already seeing companies positioning themselves in response to these changing consumer preferences for better and more eco-friendly packaging products.
Examples include Billerudkorsnas in Sweden, well known for their paper packaging made from fibre-based renewable materials, or Brambles in Australia with their reusable packaging products such as pallets and containers. Other companies in the sustainable packaging ecosystem include Stora Enso in Finland, British multinational DS Smith, and the SIG Combibloc Group in Switzerland. Greater public awareness and environmental concerns are likely to give favourable tailwinds to these companies.
As the market continues to grow, sustainable packaging products will reduce the impact on both energy consumption and the environment, and coupled with the right government regulation and incentives, help manufacturers transition away from contaminants and chemicals that are destroying the water, soil and atmosphere of our planet.
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