In 2007 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that 250 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated, but only one-third of that waste was recycled while the rest made its way into landfills. The bottom line is that product packaging is a major source of waste.
How to Reduce Product Packaging Waste
The EPA estimates that paper packaging alone generated 1.5 million tons of waste, while plastic packaging generated a staggering 13 million tons. Reducing product packaging is an excellent way for your company to help mitigate this dangerous problem.
As an added bonus, advertising your product packaging as “green” or “eco-friendly” is bound to catch your target customer’s eye. These days, consumers are eager to make eco-friendly choices and are more apt to purchase products seen as “green.” Take a look at KFC. The company recently announced that it would be transitioning to 100 percent sustainable packaging material (though this claim has been disputed by Green Peace) and subsequently saw an increase in sales. Ultimately, green product packaging design is good for the earth and good for your bottom line. To ensure your product packaging won’t end up in a landfill once your product has been unpacked, take a look at these tips and tricks.
Use biodegradable or recyclable materials
Whenever possible, opt for materials that are biodegradable and recyclable. Typically, anything plastic is not a good option, as it could take hundreds, potentially even thousands, of years to biodegrade. In contrast, cardboard is reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. Cornstarch is also an excellent option. Materials made from cornstarch are an excellent option for food packaging, as well as for packaging “peanuts.”
Ditch the plastic bags
If your company offers plastic bags to your consumers, stop now. Plastic bags are one of the worst items for the environment. They can clog drains and contribute to plumbing, kill wildlife, and create unsightly litter. Instead, offer quality, reusable bags made from recyclable materials for sale.
Choose an eco-friendly delivery service
Once you have your product ready to go in eco-friendly packaging, choose an eco-friendly delivery service to get your product to your customer. For example, UPS has activated a fleet of hybrid trucks and is constantly working to improve the efficiency of its routes and develop new, greener technologies.
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.