Demand for packaging to be renewable and responsibly sourced has never been greater. With intense pressure on the world’s forests and miles of discarded plastic polluting our oceans, consumers are now demanding that companies do more than ”do less bad,” and instead create solutions that support a flourishing future for both people and planet. Here are a few easy ways to lighten your own packaging footprint.
Dramatically cut your use of single-use plastic bottles by investing in a Soda Stream — it’s a fun way to meet your hydration needs at home, and in a reusable bottle on-the-go, too. This simple step could save billions of plastic bottles from ending up in our oceans and landfills.
Join LoopTM — a first-of-its-kind circular e-commerce platform. Many large global brands — including Pantene, Tide, and Haagen Daaz — participate in this innovative program, which is being hailed as the 21st-century milkman. Buy your favorite products in durable, non-disposable, packaging that is delivered to your door, and is then collected, cleaned, refilled, and reused when you’re finished.
Forests are our best defense against climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When harvested, the carbon released is no more than the carbon absorbed, which is why forests are referred to as being carbon neutral. Make sure products you purchase come from sources that do not damage and destroy forests. Look for the FSC label on packaging to rest assured that it’s made from responsibly managed forests.
Support companies that are using regenerative forest-based packaging, such as Lush, which launched a carbon positive container made of cork, the production of which results in a net sequestration of carbon.
SAP is piloting a plastics cloud, which will collect existing and live data from across the plastics supply chain to spark new ideas for waste reduction. The plastics cloud includes machine learning and can be shared with consumers to help them understand their own plastics impact.
Tetra Pak, the largest food packaging company in the world, is trialing the use of plant based polymers instead of plastics. It has also launched a connected packaging platform, enabling food cartons to become full-scale data carriers and digital tools. This means that while shopping, we now have the ability to access vast amounts of information such as where the product was made, the farm that the ingredients came from, and, importantly, where the package can be recycled.
Go all in
Choose brands that have been designed with a sustainable approach from the inside out. For example, Target’s new Everspring brand offers down-to-earth solutions that are up to Earth’s standards, with more than 70 items that include bio-based or recycled materials or natural fibers, covering everything from laundry detergent, dish soap, and paper towels to essential oils, candles, and hand soap. Or try Aveda beauty products, where the pursuit of environmental sustainability guides every decision made, from their traceable, fair, and sustainable ingredients to all their packaging made of post-consumer, recycled materials.
For better or worse, every packaging choice you make influences our environment. By eliminating waste and choosing packaging that is sustainably sourced, you are helping create positive change in the world.