Retailers and brands need to understand that sometimes less is more and it seems consumer research is backing this up. Reports suggest that for more eco-friendly focused brands, excessive product packaging negatively influences a consumer’s attitude so much, that it could cause brand avoidance.
Recently Starbucks spurred on by changing consumer attitudes to plastic, made the switch from plastic to paper straws in order to curb their global plastic consumption. All well and good until the paper straws landed in stores individually wrapped in a protective plastic film and the brand understandably faced a social media backlash.
With more pressures on responsible waste disposal, consumers don’t want to be lumbered with excessive packaging, that is difficult to dispose of and ends up clogging up recycling bins and the wider waste stream. Cutting out excessive packaging then, especially for eco-conscious brands, is sure to benefit the overall customer experience.
E-commerce packaging is notoriously one of the worst offending sectors for excessive packaging. Many of the brands we work with are solely based online, selling directly from the online stores and delivering straight to consumers’ homes. Not only is this the first tangible brand touchpoint so the packaging quality needs to be consistent with what they’ve seen online, but the economics of shipping also have to be taken into consideration.
This is one of the reasons why flexible packaging has grown significantly in the e-commerce sector. The weight of a flexible pouch is significantly less than that of more rigid containers so there are huge cost savings in direct to consumer shipping as well as efficiency savings to the wider distribution chain from production to warehousing.
Even the most avid anti-plastic campaigner understands packaging to be a necessary evil, protecting food products and improving shelf life. Many retailers have seen the benefit of increasing packaging volume to provide lasting freshness and as a result, prevents food waste.
In developing countries, a staggering 50% of food fails to even reach the end consumer. Here in the UK complex distribution procedures and intelligent packaging design helps protect produce in transit and ensure long-lasting freshness. Even then 2 million tonnes of food is said to be thrown away from households every year for not being used in time, with many citing the date label as the key reason why. So, although packaging may seem excessive to some, it may, in fact, be crucial to fighting food waste, which in itself presents another global issue.
We all accept that packaging isn’t going anywhere, but we can be a lot smarter about how we make sound environmental changes moving forwards. At Law Print we believe that reducing inevitable packaging waste to a bare minimum can only be a good start to work towards a more circular economy for all.
This month we launched our Sustainability series, outlining our commitment to sustainability as well as providing a free eBook for all our followers on the “Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Packaging”. If you’re looking for more information on the feasible solutions for your packaging today, then we suggest you grab a coffee and settle in with our eBook.