The environmental impact of products: Sustainable packaging that goes Way Beyond Good

Prominent campaigns on plastic waste and climate change have got more people thinking about the environmental impacts of the products they purchase. Packaging can play a big part in influencing their attitudes.

About 74% of Europeans indicated the media focus on the packaging ending up in the sea has influenced them to change their purchasing habits, according to the 2018 European Consumer Pack Perceptions Survey (ECPPS). In Spain, for example, 81% of consumers stated the environmental impact of a product’s packaging affects their purchasing decisions. Two-thirds have even switched products because of packaging concerns.

Brands have been under increasing pressure to respond to demand for more environmentally-friendly forms of packaging. Ace Fung, marketing manager sustainability at SIG, discussed why aseptic beverage cartons can offer the “best solution”, and elaborated: “Recycling packaging is one of the most obvious ways consumers can do their bit for the environment, and they expect packaging to be recyclable. Beverage cartons are recyclable after use. They also have the added environmental advantage that they are made mainly from renewable and sustainable paperboard.”

The ECPPS found that 52% of all Europeans believe cardboard is the most environmentally friendly packaging. If the same product was packaged in two different forms, 81% would choose the cartonboard pack over the plastic one.

Independent lifecycle assessments confirm this perception, showing that beverage cartons significantly outperform alternative types of packaging on key environmental impacts, such as fossil resource consumption and climate change. This is due to their high proportion of renewable raw materials and their resource-efficient design.

Fung continued: “Overall, SIG carton packs use between 38% and 77% fewer fossil fuel resources than alternatives such as glass, HDPE or PET bottles, pouches and cans – for a range of products including long-life food, UHT milk and non-carbonated soft drinks. And they have a 28-70% lower lifecycle carbon footprint.”

The full article is published on the latest edition of Food & Beverage Oct/Nov 2020. To continue reading the article, click here.