Not so long ago, businesses and consumers alike were using unsustainable materials like there was no tomorrow. But recent years have seen a rapid rise in environmental awareness. We’re starting to wave goodbye to single-use plastics and other products that are harming the planet.
At the heart of environmental efforts, you’ll find brands leading the way to sustainability. Businesses have the power to not only reduce their own carbon footprint but also help their customers live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
When it comes to improving sustainability, many brands have recognised that environmentally friendly packaging is the perfect place to start. Using sustainable packaging is one of the most effective ways a business can reduce its carbon footprint — and it also makes business sense. With so many different eco-friendly packaging options, businesses can save on packaging and transportation costs, and increase sales by appealing to eco-conscious consumers.
Here are seven brands that are leading by example and making the shift to environmentally friendly packaging.
ASOS is one of the most popular fashion retailers in the UK, and they’ve outlined packaging as a priority in their environmental policy. They use plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes, as they produce 60% less greenhouse gas emissions. And while plastic has earned a bad name for itself, it can be sustainably produced — which is exactly what ASOS aims to do.
Their plastic bags are currently made with 25% recycled plastic, but this year they’ll be upping that percentage to 65%. And when items are returned, the plastic bags are recycled and turned into new packaging.
By recycling, rather than manufacturing plastic from scratch, ASOS have managed to reduce virgin plastic usage by 160 tonnes annually. Already, ASOS have started to become more sustainable, but their long-term goal is to send zero waste to landfills.
2: Calvin Klein
PVH, the company behind Calvin Klein and other popular clothing brands (including Tommy Hilfiger), aims to achieve 100% sustainability and reduce negative environmental impact to zero.
74% of the packaging used by PVH brands is recyclable, and as a proud member of How2Recycle, the company is committed to labelling all packaging with clear recycling instructions. This initiative hopes to clear up any uncertainty about which materials are recyclables and prevent recyclable packaging from ending up in landfills.
Graze supplies eco-friendly subscription boxes full of healthy snacks — the brand is committed to helping customers live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Graze’s factory and bakery are both 100% carbon neutral for energy. But the company strives to become yet more environmentally friendly and Graze has pledged to make its packaging even more sustainable.
At the moment, their snacks are packaged in cardboard boxes sourced from sustainable forests, and trays made from recycled plastic. Both of these materials are recyclable. However, the film lid that seals the snacks and preserves their goodness is made from 50% recycled plastic but cannot be recycled.
While the majority of Graze’s packaging is recyclable, the brand is planning to reduce its plastic packaging by 80% over the next two years. They intend to bring out a paper-based punnet to replace their plastic trays in 2020.
As a brand that appears at most breakfast tables, Kellogs’ environmental policies could have a huge impact on global efforts. In 2018, they pledged to work towards 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by the end of 2025.
Kellogs already uses recyclable cardboard boxes for all of its cereal, and as part of their zero-deforestation pledge, most of these boxes are made from recycled carton board.
Lush is well known for handmade cosmetics using natural ingredients, but this brand also has some of the most forward-thinking environmental policies.
Where possible, they use no packaging at all. Rather than selling liquid cosmetics, Lush produce innovative shampoo and conditioner bars that don’t need packaging. Their shampoo bars alone have saved nearly 6 million plastic bottles.
For products that do require packaging, Lush uses sustainable, recycled materials for 90% of all packaging. Lush pots and packaging materials can also be recycled, composted or reused.
6: Bulldog Skincare
Bulldog, a popular men’s skincare brand, is big on both social and environmental responsibility. They’ve swapped out their previous plastic tubes for an eco-friendly bioplastic packaging alternative made using sugarcane.
The sugarcane used in their plastic is ethically sourced and created from the leftovers of sugarcane extraction. Unlike plastic made with fossil fuels, sugarcane-based plastic is renewable and sustainable.
7: The Body Shop
Another cosmetics and skincare brand, The Body Shop is committed to tackling the plastic crisis by offering recycled packaging. By 2025, The Body Shop packaging will consist of 75% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. Their goal is to reduce the amount of virgin plastic produced.
While their packaging will still include a small amount of virgin plastic, this will be of a green source, bio-based or equivalent — The Body Shop don’t use plastic derived from fossil fuels. And by using a little virgin plastic, they can make sure all packaging is recycled after use.
About the Author:
Adam Middleton is Marketing Manager at Packaging Supplies, a company that provides custom boxes, design and solutions for industries in the UK and Europe.