There has never been a louder call to save the environment and to work towards sustainability. Packaging and the food industry have gone hand-in-hand in all these years. But with the growing awareness of a shift needed to go more eco-friendly, it is imperative to understand packaging and how the industry is gearing up to meet its clients demands who wish to keep their carbon footprints low. There has been an exponential growth of food deliveries, takeaways and ordering food online. With the pandemic looming at large, this aspect of the industry has taken off big time in a bid to compensate for the dip in the culture of dining out.
If you have now entered the business domain of food and are trying to run a business of food delivery and a home business, then it would really be a good idea if you could up your game in this aspect.
What Is Sustainable Packaging?
In layman terms, sustainable packaging is environment friendly, earth friendly, and doesn’t deplete natural resources. They are beneficial, eco-friendly, safe and healthy. They are physically designed to optimize materials and energy.
What Are The Benefits of Sustainable Packaging?
Like we mentioned above, consumers today are very conscious about the environment and are willing to pay premium costs to anyone who understands green values. They can help you thereby, to increase your customer base and loyalty. Consumers actually get on Instagram stories to ‘unbox’ a well-packaged meal.
How Can You Be A Trendsetter In This?
1. Knowledge Sharing
- Consider sharing knowledge about the best ways to recycle and disposing of packaging materials. While that may differ city-to-city or even area-to-area, you can have broader guidelines that can be applicable universally.
- Maybe you can have environment-friendly statistics or messages or facts on your packaging that can go as reminders to your clients.
2. Concise Packaging
- The smaller the packaging, the smaller will be the requirement of your materials.
- Use smaller bags, boxes and containers that are eco-friendly and not plastic.
- Small size packaging also helps in reduced shipping costs.
3.Recycled Packaging Materials
- This is a great way to extend the life of used materials.
- Paperboard and cardboard are one of the most popular forms of packaging.
- Plastic materials that are put back into recycling facilities to create single-use bags and containers can also be used.
4. Plant-Based Packaging
- These are as the name suggests, packaging made out of natural sources
- If you are in the food business and decide to use plant-based packaging, then the only thing you need to ensure is that it does not alter the flavor of your food.
5. Edible Packaging
- Again, as the name suggests, they are also from the family of natural sources, but then, something that you eat right up.
6. Plantable Packaging
- Self-explanatory: packaging that you can plant. These are packaging that have seeds embedded in them and you can plant them right after.
Sure, sustainable packaging costs higher than its conventional counterparts, but the section of the population that is environmentally conscious won’t mind the additional cost. After all, this ensures a better life for the future generations. Irrespective of your business decisions, the fact that there’s way too much plastic waste in the world is simply inevitable. Consider switching to sustainable packaging as your duty to save the planet.
Transitioning Towards Sustainable Packaging
It all sounds very exciting and with all the encouragement and enthusiasm you may want to jump right in, but you would and must consider these points before you make the change.
1. Don’t Do A Complete Overhaul
- Don’t spend and change everything at once. You do not know what will work best for your needs or your business or your client’s requirements. There will be trials and errors and the economics associated with it. So don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge expense. Try in small batches and find the one that suits your needs best.
2. Order For Product Samples
- Research around your area for eco-friendly packaging merchants.
- See if they are willing to give you smaller samples for free.
- See how you fit with the merchant in terms of compatibility.
- Check for durability. Since it is the food business, you would be packing liquids, semi solids and the likes. So you don’t want your packaging to give way.
- Check if the packaging is airtight, and administer the leak and stress tests to ensure that they don’t break with a little bit of weight.
- Calculate how heavy or light your packaging should be because that will increase your shipping costs.
3. Pricing Adjustment
- Ensure that you are working out your mathematics well to absorb or include the packaging costs out of your own pockets or adding it to your client’s bill. Whatever it may be, keep a hard watch on the bottom-line.
4. Order In Small Volumes
- Look for customer reception, overall performance over what you already had and then once you are comfortable, order the packaging in larger amounts.
In a Covid and post-Covid world, when the world is still trying to stand on its own feet to get to some semblance of normalcy, many small business owners are taking the leap of faith and improvising to make these conscious changes to their businesses. Food delivery has taken up a notch and the governments all over the world are encouraging takeaways. Packaging hence becomes an important factor and needs to keep up with the eco-friendly norms today.
Consumers want recyclable, reusable, products that don’t overpackage, are compostable and biodegradable, are made from renewable resources and can be separated for categorized disposal. If you are able to plugin all these factors, you are definitely on the track to garner your clients’ respect and loyalty.