With the emphasis on environmental sustainability all over the world, customers’ awareness of the importance of eco-friendly packaging has grown intensely.
ECommerce businesses have now begun to tilt towards eco-friendly ECommerce practices than in the previous decades. This is not only good for the environment but also very profitable for businesses, as customers now have a pro-sustainability mindset.
In 2019 alone, the green packaging market worldwide was valued at over USD 250 billion and the figures are forecasted to increase at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate between 2020 and 2027.
These are no small figures, and business owners should be attentive enough to the new eco-friendly packaging trend. The interesting thing is that consumers are more than willing to pay to have their goods sustainably packaged.
The advantages of eco-friendly packaging to eCommerce businesses are enormous. Below are some advantages of eco-friendly packaging to your eCommerce business:
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1. Eco-Friendly Packaging Grows Your Customer Base
Packaging with sustainable materials grows your business for two main reasons:
The growing sustainability awareness
More customers are beginning to demand sustainable and eco-friendly products globally. As an eCommerce business owner, you have the chance–a golden chance–to model your business as one that’s mindful of the environment.
Before many customers make their purchasing decisions, they check whether the products are sustainable. More people are following the green packaging train, especially with the growing awareness.
So it is a very powerful pro-brand strategy to see the need for sustainable packaging and go into action–packaging your products to be eco-friendly. Consumers are over willing to pay as much as it takes for sustainable products.
Because of environmental concerns, consumers now seek products that have recyclable packaging or eco-friendly materials when making their day-to-day purchases. Eco-friendly customers will support your business if your branding aligns with their sustainability cause.
Protecting the environment is empathy, and packaging your products like you don’t care about the environment may be a blunt show of inconsideration.
The Health Implications of Packaging on Consumers
A lot of consumers pay special attention to the make of their packaging material. Customers are most likely to not patronize your business if the packaging is toxic to their health.
As most of the products used for eco-friendly packaging are natural, people consider it a healthier option while making their purchasing decisions.
People have linked petrochemical packaging, when used for food, to many health problems. The absence of synthetic chemicals in the manufacturing process of eco-friendly packaging means they are both healthier for the environment and people.
Most eco-friendly packaging materials are free from toxins and allergens. This is especially true for biodegradable packaging–which is non-toxic to humans and the environment.
Traditional packaging is made from chemical and synthetic materials which are unhealthy for both manufacturers and consumers. When you use non-toxic and allergen-free materials, you tell your customers that you are interested in leading a healthy lifestyle.
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2. It Reduces Overall Production Cost for Your Business
The cost implications of packaging and shipping to eCommerce businesses can’t be underestimated. Eco-Friendly Packaging helps you cut down on the amount of material you use for packaging.
Committing to eco-friendly packaging without breaking the bank is easier than you could ever imagine. The interesting part of it is that it can yield mind-blowing savings in the long term for your business.
Environmentally conscious and financially intelligent businesses adopt eco-friendly packaging because it gives many options for lightweight packaging.
More so, it leaves the consumer at the receiving end with less waste to deal with. This is the reason jute, plastic film, and starch-based bags have become packaging favorites for most businesses.
Lightweight, sustainable packaging also helps you to minimize shipping costs. You’ll save your business a good chunk of money if you adopt eco-friendly packaging.
A commitment towards packaging to make the environment safer to live in approves you to your customers and keeps them open to patronizing you on a long-term basis.
It’s way past the era where customers go with your brand because of a nice slogan. In this era, one of the things that can single out your brand as trustworthy and respectable in customers’ eyes is your ability to minimize packaging weight and reduce waste material.
In addition, the manufacturing cost of sustainable packaging is cheaper than that of traditional packaging in terms of the amount of energy required for production, thus saving your eCommerce business a lot of money.
3. Offers you Versatility in Your Packaging
Eco-friendly packaging is very versatile and is becoming more pronounced in industries that use standard packaging. This is because compared to traditional packaging you can repurpose and reuse them to provide so many packaging solutions.
Aside from constituting environmental hazards, traditional packaging is somewhat stereotyped in terms of creativity in packaging design. With eco-friendly packaging, you can style your pack in so many forms, so much so that it integrates your brand story in more perceivable ways.
Furthermore, an interesting aspect of this versatility is that eco-friendly packaging can be used in almost every industry, which is a very huge advantage to multi-product businesses. Instead of spending a fortune on different types of traditional packaging, the same sustainable material can be used for the packaging, though with different designs.
4. Minimizes Your Carbon Footprint
This is one of the most important benefits of eco-friendly packaging. It reduces the volume of greenhouse gases given off into the atmosphere.
All the processes of product packaging contribute a percentage of carbon to the atmosphere. Eco-friendly packaging uses other methods to cut down on the global carbon footprint.
The use of recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable materials also helps to reduce carbon emissions and our consumption of heavy-energy substances. Like that, the ozone layer is protected to our best ability and our planet is preserved.
5. It Offers Consumers Reusable Packaging
Most eco-friendly packaging materials can be used again by customers for their day-to-day or domestic activities and businesses or for making subsequent purchases.
As customers use your packaging materials in their homes or for other purposes, the amount of waste materials incinerated or dumped in seas and oceans reduces to a great extent. And, not just that, your business earns the credit for providing such material for them.
For instance, if a customer buys a pack of chicken and snacks from a company that uses branded cotton bags or reusable jute packs. There is a greater chance the packs won’t be disposed of after use because they are semi-durable and can be used in the kitchen or for shopping groceries next time.
Millions of traditional packaging materials are trashed every year. With eco-friendly packaging materials, both your customers and your business can save on packaging materials while saving the environment.
People love fashionable things but that doesn’t deny the fact that they want easy-to-handle and lightweight objects. A well-designed (well-branded) eco-friendly packaging creates the compromise here and gives your customers the satisfaction they desire.
6. Eco-Friendly Packaging Uses Biodegradable Materials
Among the many awesome benefits of using biodegradable eco-friendly materials is the fact that they do not add to the inorganic content of the environment when they are disposed of.
The negative impact of inorganic packaging on the environment is greatly minimized and the energy needed to dispose of them appropriately is lowered to the barest minimum. That’s a win-win situation considering the fact that traditional packaging has not made our environment any better.
At times, businesses pack items in plastic bags, although it can be dangerous to the environment because they are inorganic. Better and more eco-friendly substitutes to that are hemp, cotton, and tapioca bags which keep our environment greener.
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Financially, the production of easily disposable materials is a win for companies. This is because there will be a massive drop in the financial burden (and energy requirement) for disposing of packaging materials especially single-use petrochemical materials.
7. A Millennial and Generation Z Attraction Strategy
The average millennial or generation-z individuals have a stronger eco-friendly instinct than other generations too. They are more likely to engage businesses that stand out for their ecological practices.
To be blunt: the earth is gradually being inherited by the younger generation and they will be the ones that bear the heat of a degenerating environment. The level of education has evoked some sort of fanatical attitude against anything that destroys the environment.
From electric cars and solar traveling alternatives to other eco-friendly industrial solutions, it’s all for the same cause–to make the environment more durable and healthier for our living.
For millennials, who are diehard advocates of green living and green business practices, you obviously have to do something different in your product packaging. Eco-friendly packaging is no doubt a step in the right direction.
A good number of consumers across all businesses globally constitute millennials. Eco-friendly Packaging can keep your business in the spotlight and have the bucks rolling in through active youth patronage.
8. Provision of Recyclable Options
Most traditional packaging has come from single-use plastic materials. Despite being very convenient for packaging, the negative effect on the environment has been enormous: global temperature rise, water pollution, clogging of drainage systems, etc.
People dispose of almost all packaging materials that carry their products. And, just imagine all that waste clogging water bodies and staring the human population in the face as if to emphasize they are indestructible. Using eco-friendly materials allows us to minimize the number of single-use plastics we use.
The recyclable plastic technology will forever be lauded by industries as they provide packing materials for products that require extra support. Your business can reduce the inorganic content of the planet while maximizing plastic materials that are worth a lot of money.
Recyclable plastic packaging materials are more eco-friendly than non-recyclable and non-biodegradable materials. They make the list of green packaging options across all business product sectors.
Earth-friendly, industry-standard, recycled cardboard and wrapping sheets also have a positive impact on our planet. Even though they are biodegradable, the environment will look better when we recycle cardboard and wrapping sheets, plus it saves your business money as they won’t have to source materials from scratch again.
Ecommerce packaging witnesses a lot of irregularities as customers return goods sometimes because of damages, product failure, or other reasons. No business owner enjoys that.
But when it happens, there is an economy of packaging if the other packaging is recyclable. Otherwise, it constitutes a wastage of resources and an increase in the business’s total production cost.
9. Beautifies Your Brand Story and Image
One of the many ways to be responsible and humane about your business is to use sustainable resources. It can establish that little emotion that binds them with you forever, and it reassures them that they are doing business with the right brand.
Eco-friendly packaging will integrate itself into your brand message as a brand that contributes to making the world a better place. This positive brand perception of your customers will yield more profits for your business, improve ROI, and court customer loyalty.
As global warming issues rage, eCommerce businesses should not be negligent to these trends.
For any eCommerce business, eco-friendly packaging is an important issue. Besides, it will save you a great number of your millennial and generation Z customers.
The environmental, health, energy, and cost implications of eco-friendly packaging make it a better choice than traditional packaging. Soon, the emphasis on eco-friendly packaging will increase geometrically.