The movement toward environmental consciousness in the packaging industry has been occurring for many years, and sustainability trends will continue to evolve through 2018. Consumers are drawn to products that can boast environmental consciousness, and many are even willing to pay more for brands that position themselves as leaders in the fight for sustainability. From seaweed to origami-inspired packages, what should you expect to see this year?
Stories of “garbage islands” in the ocean have been featured in the news recently, leading some consumers to consider the life of their packaging after it leaves their possession. Other videos show fisherman cutting fish open to reveal garbage inside of their bodies. There’s no doubt that consumers are increasingly drawn to manufacturers that place an emphasis on using ocean-friendly packaging.
Bioplastics made from plants, plant starch materials, sugar bagasse, and palm leaf are all emerging as plastic alternatives that can quickly biodegrade to nourish the ocean rather than poisoning water and wildlife. Many companies are planning campaigns that highlight the specific steps they are taking to keep plastics out of the ocean.
Handling the Coffee Cup Problem
Billions upon billions of coffee cups are thrown away each year. Experts estimate that about 100 billion are disposed of annually, which is an undeniable problem for the environment. Many manufacturers like TripCup and Evoware are working to use unique and sustainable tactics to minimize the environmental impact of coffee cups. TrioCup has created a disposable paper cup made with an origami-like technique that eliminates the need for a plastic lid. The entire cup is made of compostable material while remaining spill resistant and cost-competitive.
Evoware, meanwhile, is using seaweed from local farmers in Indonesia to develop biodegradable food wraps, coffee cups, and soap packages and seasoning sachets. Not only does this boost local economies in Indonesia, but it also offers a zero-waste solution since the packaging dissolves in warm water and can be used as a natural fertilizer for plants!
Humankind has proven its ability to continually outsmart itself, so there is no doubt that 2018 will witness many other ingenious packaging solutions for the environmental challenges we face.