Packaging continues to follow other industries in the quest to become more environmentally friendly. Consumers are much more aware of packaging, and many are choosing products packaged in a sustainable manner. This means the packaging is recyclable, or biodegradable, right? Not always. Today’s consumer is concerned with ‘over-packaging’ to a much greater degree than even just a few years ago. The more packaging that is in the way of the actual product, the more it is perceived by consumers as wasteful. This is expressed as ‘product-to-package ratio’, and the lower the ratio, the better for the environment. This is true for several reasons, including the following:
Again, sustainably savvy consumers think about these issues, and the consensus is growing. They are seeking right sized packaging in the products they purchase, as well as attributes like recyclability.
Plastic to the rescue!
Plastics have been given a bad rap over the past few decades. Most are made from fossil fuels, which somehow has a bad connotation. And people understandably do not like the fact that improperly disposed of plastic is littering our oceans.
But let’s take a look at plastic’s positives. Specifically, let’s create a scenario where a plastic flexible package replaces a more rigid plastic container.
Right out of the gate, a flexible package has the advantage of using less material for each unit produced. At the very least, this means less plastic material entering the usage stream, and a proportionate decrease in material that could potentially enter the waste stream. Put a credit on the sustainability ledger.
Next, consider secondary packaging required to ship both units to product filling. The ability of flexible packaging to lay flat will significantly reduce the secondary packaging required as opposed to the rigid container (Read more about that here). Over the life cycle of the product line, the difference in the amount of secondary packaging required will be quite substantial. Another sustainability ‘win!’
Add it all up…
Now we come to the bigger payoff, sustainable benefits over time. Consider the gains we just talked about – less raw material required for each unit; less secondary packaging required; less space occupied in transit; less harmful emissions by transport vehicles; less material introduced to usage and waste streams. You can see where this is going. Over the life cycle of a product the gains will be substantial. Even if this hypothetical flexible packaging construction is not recyclable, it does have many sustainable benefits. And it’s worth mentioning that sustainable flexible packaging structures ARE available, and more are being developed.
Is moving your product to flexible packaging the right move? This post is provided as food for thought, and every situation is different. But where it makes sense, the move to a flexible package can be a mover toward sustainability. Ask one of our experts. We’d welcome your questions.
2020… good riddance to you! There is probably a good chance you understand that sentiment. Most peoples’ business and/or personal lives were affected to some degree by the tumultuous happenings of the last year. The packaging and label sector was no exception, and we in the business bid farewell to 2020 and warily raise the curtain on 2021. A traditional aspect of the advent of a new year is the determination of what trends will prevail over the next 365 days. So, we offer this glimpse at what we think will be six leading trends in packaging, labeling and the markets which utilize them. These trends are derived from observations we at AWT have made as well as those of our industry gurus, given credit* at the end of this post.
And away we go!
People have a literal connection with things they touch. But there is also a subconscious emotional connection created when a person touches something, whether that is another person or a retail product. Marketers have long known this, and they go to great lengths to create visually appealing packaging to increase the odds that a consumer will physically interact with their package by touching it. More recently, consumers have experienced a new sensation when strolling the retail arena – packaging with ‘feeling.’ Marketers have added physical texture to packaging with specialized coatings like “soft-touch” coating on labels and roll print film to connect consumers more deeply to products through touch. It’s not a new technique, but it is one which is ready to break out as ink, coating and film formulations for rendering texture become more available.
Most of us are aware of brand counterfeiting; the unauthorized use of a brand’s mark to falsely represent an inauthentic, inferior product. It is a big problem, particularly among high-end and legacy brands. Brands obviously have a stake in this battle, as counterfeiting can significantly impact sales and brand reputation. Consumers also want to make sure the product they are getting is authentic and genuine… the ‘real thing.’ As counterfeiters become both more prevalent and more sophisticated, 2021 will see an increase in measures brands can take to fight back. These include 2D barcodes; Holograms (think NFL gear and wearables); and other options for label or packaged-based authenticity confirmation. Tamper-evident labels can be an inexpensive method of providing authenticity and provide proof of a compromised package. Technology to aid counterfeiters is increasing, but thankfully, so is anti-counterfeiting technology.
The information revolution has made it possible for marketers to find consumers’ sweet spots, and to more easily create targeted messaging that has a better chance of making an impression. For better or worse, you as a consumer can probably be categorized or segmented in any number of ways based on internet browsing habits, responses to random surveys, and even social media likes and sharing history. This information is generally used to create more personalized ads which reach consumers via email or text, but packaging and labels are also carrying these personalized messages. A high-level example of this was Coca-Cola’s famous ‘Name Cans’ campaign a few years ago, linked here. The company used information readily available to find out the most common first names in various regional markets, and within target demographics like age group and other factors. They then produced printed cans and bottle labels with proportionate numbers of the top names and distributed them to the targeted regions. Expect more marketers to follow suit in 2021 and look for more labels and packaging aimed right at you.
Our current national health emergency has changed consumer habits. Many people have taken the online route to shopping, even for groceries and other essentials. Those consumers going inside stores are spending less time browsing and are generally trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. Marketers are aware of this and are responding with bolder and more concise messaging on packaging. In a retail environment where the first brand noticed might win the race, labels and packaging are also sporting vivid colors and designs that say, “here’s what you’re looking for!” As the trend of shopping for utility vs. shopping for relaxation persists into 2021, so will the trend toward packaging that gets right to the point.
Not so much a trend as a responsible way of operating, sustainable label and packaging constructions will continue to proliferate in 2021. What is trendy within sustainable packaging is the ‘less is more’ movement. Lighter packaging and labels use less raw materials to create and have residual benefits throughout their lifecycle. The continued development of thinner label and flexible packaging stocks will drive down the cost of these materials, eliminating a barrier to expanded adoption of lighter options. When these same constructions are also recyclable, or made from recycled content, there is an even greater positive impact on the environment. See how on our website.
Package-based promotion will make a comeback in 2021. Brands are looking for ways to extend the time consumers interact with their products when many of them are avoiding retail brick and mortar in favor of online shopping. Labels and packaging will include future purchase incentives in the form of coupons. QR codes will be printed to lead consumers to websites, recipe suggestions and augmented reality experiences. Kid-friendly brands and products will include labels with fun stuff like temporary tattoos and stickers. In the new retail playing field, brands will be cultivating and rewarding loyalty to a greater degree than in recent years.
It’s a new year, and we’re excited to see what it brings. If you’re looking to leverage any of these trends to increase your brand’s visibility, give us a call and talk to one of our experts.
When it comes to pressure-sensitive (PS) labels, there are multiple ways to design for sustainability. In developing an earth-friendly package, any of these approaches can be used by themselves, or in combination with others. Let us look at these options:
Recyclability is probably the first thing one thinks of when designing a sustainable label. Creating a label which is capable of being recycled involves choosing recycle-ready face stock and adhesive. As with any label, these material choices will largely depend on the final application for the package. Typical materials capable of being recycled are paper, polypropylene (PP; BOPP), and polyethylene (PE). But if you were to pair these recyclable stocks with a conventional adhesive, you would prevent the label from being recycled. Most traditional adhesives will contaminate the recycle ‘stream’ and render the processed material unusable. A ‘wash-away’ adhesive is capable of being removed at the front end of the recycling stream, leaving only the recyclable base label material. This is a more complex operation than described here, but you can learn more at this website. An increasing number of PS label stocks are being developed with wash-away adhesives.
Post-Consumer Recycled Content
Another approach to increasing the sustainability factor of a PS label is to utilize stock materials composed of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. As the name implies, PCR stock is composed of a certain percentage of recycled content. The benefit to the environment is the decreased amount of original source material required to ‘build’ the material. Paper stocks commonly have some degree of PCR content, as do some PET film materials. Some of these stocks are recyclable themselves, providing an additional sustainable benefit. Recycling technology has advanced substantially over the past few decades, and the quality of plastics derived from PCR processes has improved to the point that some of these materials can meet strict food safety regulations. Read more…
Less Material to Start
The material reduction approach is gaining momentum since it is an easy way to realize sustainable benefits without changing the nature of the label stock. As application equipment has improved, thinner label stocks have been developed, and widely used, in the PS realm. The benefits are many, but primarily, thinner materials reduce the amount of raw materials required to create the same number of labels as a thicker stock. Designing a thinner label out of a recyclable PCR material would check a lot of boxes on the credit side of a sustainability ledger! If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the environmental benefits of going to a thinner material, take a look at this life cycle assessment which illustrates the results of moving from a 2.6 MIL material to a 2.4 MIL: Thinner Substrate LCA. These same benefits can be realized by decreasing the area of a label.
Renewable content is derived from raw materials which can be replenished naturally. Creating labels from a renewable resource has multiple sustainability pay-offs. At the top of the list is decreased reliance upon finite raw materials like petroleum. Renewable materials include paper and bioplastics like polylactic acid (PLA), derived from corn. These original sources are managed under stewardship entities like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and are certified as such. Renewable raw materials have an additional benefit in that they generally require less energy to extract, providing a proportionate positive impact on emissions and production waste.
As stated previously, the final composition of a sustainable PS label will depend on the market application, the package, and environment in which it will reside. But the options for getting to a sustainable solution are expanding. Talk to the experts at AWT to find out how your next PS label project can benefit the environment.
Flexible packaging is very popular due to versatility and marketability of the structures. Flex packaging serves a variety of markets, with a large share found in the food sector, most likely due to the packaging’s ability to be resealed. It’s also lightweight, efficiently transported and provides a very visible brand billboard at retail. Along with these traits is the perception that flexible packaging can be recycled. This is true, but design and material selection must follow some guidelines to produce a recyclable package.
One of these things is not like the other…
In simple terms, most flexible packaging for the food sector is comprised of at least two layers of plastic material. This is because one type of material is excellent for printing and for heat sealing of the package once its filled with product, but not very good for protecting food contents from oxygen and water vapor. Thus, a second film layer, a ‘barrier’ layer, often a different material than the print layer is laminated to the print layer to provide protection from water and air. And that is when recycling becomes more difficult if not impossible. When two different plastic materials are formed into a flexible package, it prevents recycling by current processes and technology.
High and Low-Density Polyethylene
Designing a package utilizing a single plastic material for both the print and barrier labels is the key to enabling recycling. But how do we accomplish this when we need to have at least two different materials to meet the printing and product protection requirements of the package? The answer is to use one ‘base’ material with different density levels. Utilizing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for the print layer, and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) for the barrier results in a package made of one base material (PE). HDPE has characteristics that make it very receptive to printing. It also has a high level of clarity, and it will not stick to heat-seal machinery components during the converting process. The sealant layer is an LDPE that has been coextruded with an internal barrier layer needed for dependable food packaging.
When the two layers are combined, you get a material that can be printed and converted into flexible packaging without causing issues with the pouch converting machinery. And again, since the entire package is PE based, it’s readily recyclable.
There’s more to sustainability than recycling…
So, we have a totally recyclable pouch that meets the requirements of product protection and looks great doing it. But that’s not the end of the sustainable story when it comes to flexible packaging. This packaging format has a lot more going for it. Life Cycle Assessment tools show that flexible packaging can result in less fossil fuel usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and water than other packaging because of its light weight. Flexible packaging materials are usually shipped flat or on a roll. This means a larger number of packages can be shipped in one truckload, reducing the number of truck trips needed when compared to a bulkier, heavier package. Flexible packaging also scores well on the ‘product-to-package’ ratio – a measure of how much of a packaged product consists of packaging compared to the actual product (by weight).
This is a blog post, and obviously a high-level explanation of what’s needed to create recyclable flexible packaging. For a more thorough explanation of the process, or to explore sustainable solutions for your brand’s package, talk to the experts at AWT.
Everyone knows what recycling means, right? It’s not a new concept, and nearly all of us have been participating in recycling efforts for some time now. We likely have some sort of sanitation receptacle at home where we put all those things we’re told to recycle, and the contents of this container are collected on a regular basis by our municipal service. Pretty basic stuff by now.
But how much do we really know about this process? Would it surprise you to learn that not everything you faithfully plunk into that trusty collection receptacle ends up being recycled? Let’s look at recycling as it applies to labels and packaging (since that’s what we do!) and break it down by some of the common terminology out there that may be confusing to people.
It’s plastic, and plastic is recyclable, so…
As mentioned before, most of us probably toss things into recycling collection containers and just assume the process takes care of the rest. A plastic stand-up pouch probably ‘looks’ like something that can be readily recycled but may not be. For example, if a plastic stand-up pouch package is composed of more than one primary resin, or if the package is made up of different layers or laminations, it probably cannot be recycled with current methods and technology. Which brings us to our first recycling term – Recycle Ready. A recycle-ready package or component (flexible packaging, labels, and/or rigid container) has been designed and manufactured to enable recycling. For example, a two-layer flexible package can be designed and manufactured with both layers composed of polyethylene (PE). How about a labeled rigid container? A recycle-ready version may have a recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle and a recyclable label with wash-away adhesive, facilitating separation of the label and bottle for recycling.
Even properly designed, a recycle-ready package may need to be directed to a very specific recycling ‘stream’ to be recycled. Many of these specific stream collection points are appearing in supermarkets and other retail locations, and instructions for consumers are becoming more common on packaging requiring special handling. And a growing number of consumer-packaged goods companies (CPG’s) are utilizing recycle-ready packaging.
Consumers want to help
With the increasing emphasis on sustainability and protecting the environment, consumers are becoming more selective about brands they’ll support. They want to be ‘part of the solution’ as the saying goes, and one way to do that is buying products in packaging composed of Recycled Content. Recycled content refers to a package primarily composed of recycled material. The material will have come from one of two sources: Post-consumer or post-industrial. Without going into deep detail, post-consumer recycled material is derived from all those items tossed into the recycling bin at home which, after sorting, can be processed by current recycling methods. Post-industrial refers to those materials reclaimed in a manufacturing process. For instance, when making soda cans, aluminum is cut into a specific shape to accommodate the can molding process. Scraps from the cutting process are melted down and used again to make more cans.1 Both sources are beneficial and promote the efficient use of material in the packaging manufacturing process. Packaging created using recycled content is marked as such so consumers can make informed buying decisions. It is important to point out that not all packaging composed of recycled content is recyclable itself. The sustainable benefits were just realized at a different point. You can learn more about recycled content and recyclability by visiting this page on the Sustainable Packaging Coalition web site: Recycled Content vs. Recyclability. As a final note, recycling professionals recommend consumers rinse out and clean packaging prior to deposit in a collection bin.
The experts at AWT can help you understand all your options when it comes to sustainable packaging and labels and meet your organization’s sustainable goals.
1Sustainable Packaging Coalition
We’ve all heard the ‘tip of the iceberg’ analogy for explaining how there is more to a given subject than meets the eye. A Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can help reveal environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of a package or label beyond its primary sustainable traits. In fact, an LCA can be run for nearly any manufactured product, but we’ll stick to labels & packaging since that’s our business. In this first of posts on Life Cycle Assessment, we’ll explore the basics of an LCA and what information can be gleaned from the exercise.
LCA takes five primary elements or processes in the life of a label or package into account, and provides a framework for some questions you can ask:
Raw Materials considers raw components of a product. Are any of the materials renewable? Does the extraction of the material cause excessive emissions or endanger water tables or ecosystems?
Raw Material Transport examines the modes of transport for the materials. Is the raw material required located a great distance from the plant that will be using it? Does the material take up a great deal of space in shipping, requiring more trips over time than alternative materials?
Production looks at the manufacturing and fabrication. Does the production of the product use a lot of energy or water? Are there harmful byproducts in the production process?
Distribution considers how the finished product will get to the customer. It factors in many of the same variables as Raw Materials Transport.
Finally, End of Life looks at disposition of the product. Is it recyclable? Reusable?
To illustrate, let’s consider the example of a flexible package that is composed of 100% recyclable materials. That this package can be recycled and not end up in a landfill is the primary beneficial trait of the package. But an LCA can reveal benefits not so obvious. For example, flexible packaging generally takes less water to manufacture than rigid packaging designed for the same purpose (Production).
From a distribution perspective, finished flexible packaging takes up MUCH less space in transport than rigid packaging. Extrapolating out over a given time, the fuel savings of shipping flexible packages compared to the same quantity of rigid packages will be substantial. We’re using less fuel, which in and of itself is a good thing, but by doing so we’re also reducing the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Another ‘hidden’ benefit. See our post linked here. Save Green with Flexible Packaging.
All the above information has been presented in very general terms. A formal LCA will provide much more specific feedback and give detail to material and packaging comparisons so better decisions can be made.
We will explore the process of conducting a formal LCA in the next installment of the series.
Would you like to take a closer look at life cycle assessments for your own packaging and/or labeling strategy? AWT and our supplier partners can help you make more informed decisions regarding sustainable options for your program.
Summer is officially underway, and everything is ‘greening up’ outside. Some businesses experience a little slow down in summer, and that may be a great time to take stock of packaging strategies. A packaging audit can help identify areas of strengths and weakness in your strategy and reveal opportunities to improve performance. In this “season of green”, it may be beneficial to examine your packaging strategy from a sustainable perspective.
The Three R’s
An easy way to conduct a simple sustainable audit is to look at your packaging related to the three R’s of eco-friendly packaging: Reduce; Reuse; Recycle.
Some packaging processes can benefit from an audit by revealing older and possibly inefficient ways of doing things. You know – the organizational inertia that says, “we do it this way because that’s the way we’ve always done it!” Maybe there is room for improvement.
Look at all your packaging, including consumer-facing (retail), bulk shipping product to retail, etc.
If you begin looking at your packaging strategy through the filter of the three R’s, you may discover a lot of areas where improvements can be made. For example: You may have flexible packaging that is produced with older material specs that may be able to be replaced by a recyclable/recycle-ready material (recycle!).
Additional Green Stuff
Evaluating packaging with the three R’s in mind will get you thinking about efficiency, especially when regarding material reduction strategies. There are more non-material things you can do to gain efficiency and bolster a sustainable program. For example, did you know a supplier managed inventory (SMI) program is a sustainable production method? Think of it this way: Putting packaging production on an SMI track can prevent large inventories of packaging with obsolete messaging or graphics.
Other production methods can also reap sustainable benefits. Packaging with similar color attributes can run concurrently on one press in certain situations. Combining two press runs into one has obvious sustainable benefits.
AWT’s experts can help with a more detailed audit of your current packaging and put your strategy on a greener path. But this simple audit exercise can help get the gears in motion.
A few months ago, we introduced the concept of material reduction in the development of sustainable packaging and labeling (Material Reduction). It is the first element of the “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” fundamentals we are all aware of. This month we talk about ‘reuse’ of packaging and packaging elements as a strategy to achieve a sustainable program. Nearly every consumer goods package produced today is a ‘single-use’ package. It will hold a product a consumer will purchase at retail, and then be discarded when the packaging is emptied. In a best-case scenario, all or some of the package components will be recycled.
But what if instead of being discarded, with no guarantee that it will not end up in a landfill, or worse, one of the world’s oceans, it provided additional function to the consumer? That is the main subject of an article published in 2019 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – Reuse: Rethinking Packaging1. There are four reuse models examined, and while these models do not apply to all consumer packaging, they do provide strategies to remove a large amount of packaging from single-use life cycles.
The Four Reuse Models
Refill at Home: Consumers will refill a reusable container at home. For example, the ‘primary’ first purchase package could be a more rigid construction with durable branding and labeling elements. The refill packages purchased later can consist of ‘lighter’ and more readily recycled material intended to get the product home for refilling the primary. Concentrated product can also be purchased in much smaller quantities (and smaller packaging) to mix with water in the primary package.
Return from Home: Consumers use the product, and then the packaging is picked up from home by a logistics firm or other designated service. This model would be comparable to services currently available for propane tanks for home grills. The ‘packaging’ would be different, but the concept would be the same. Imagine a service that would deliver economy-size detergents that would dispense product with a built-in tap. Consumers could leave the empty for a service to swap out a refilled dispensing container.
AWT utilizes a similar model in a business-to-business (B2B) setting. We deliver rolls of pressure-sensitive labels to various customers in a specialized reusable corrugated container. Once our customer uses the labels, the containers can be folded flat and returned to AWT on a pallet via parcel delivery service to be reused.
Refill On-the-Go: Consumers would bring their empty containers to a retail establishment to be refilled. We see examples of this already where spring water is made available at retail, and consumers can bring custom refill packaging of various sizes. The concept is also in practice for grains, flour, and other bulk cooking/baking staples.
Return On-the-Go: Consumers return the packaging at a designated store drop-off point such as a deposit return machine or receptacle. If you are old enough to remember returning pop bottles to a supermarket for a refund of your deposit, you understand this model. Reusable containers are cleaned, refilled, and sold again at retail until it is determined the package can no longer be reused.
All four reuse models have sustainable benefits:
There are some assumptions made in the above models, and as we have said in previous blogs, we are not quite there on an infrastructure basis for all these models to work perfectly. These are solutions that will become more available as consumer education and adoption continue to make progress. The experts at AWT are a great resource as you look for ways to make your packaging strategy more sustainable.
Look for the 3rd installment of our series “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” focused on recycling later this year.
1For further reading, please see the document available on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation web site – Reuse: Rethinking Packaging linked here: Article Link
We are all in agreement about recycling everything we can for a healthier world and conservation of resources. Recycling is a key element of an overall circular economy strategy. This is as true for packaging as any other consumable. Yet despite our best efforts, not every package we target for recycling gets recycled. There are a couple things at work here:
We all hope new technology can develop a ‘universal’ recycling stream, capable of accepting a wide range of consumables, and recycling parts and components into new raw materials. We are obviously not there yet. But we can ensure more packaging does end up being recycled by making some smarter choices in the design phase.
Every package is going to be different, of course, due to the market application and what is required performance-wise. But in general, package design for recycling should take the following into consideration:
A major hinderance to recycling is the mix of components that make up a package. All these component materials may be recyclable on their own, but not when combined in a package unit. Again, depending on what the package is intended to do, combining components may be necessary. But when possible, these design guidelines can help ensure recycling takes place:
Doing the work at the front end of the process will yield more packaging capable of being recycled. There are more specific things that can be done depending upon your marketing and sustainability goals. Our experts can help – right from the start!
It’s highly likely you’ve heard these terms sometime in the past ten years as the U.S. and the world work toward more environmentally-friendly ways of living and doing business. It’s a simple way of looking at a complex issue. And it’s a great place to start when developing a sustainable packaging strategy:
Reduce, where possible, the amount of material used to create packaging
Reuse whatever you can – from finished products to process waste materials
Recycle those packaging materials that can be recycled
Generally, the focus has been on recycling. It’s a process most people are familiar with, and there’s a tangible metric that can be recognized; like XX tons of material recycled annually. But the first leg of this sustainable triad – Reduce – can often provide the biggest “bang-for-the-buck” when it comes to sustainable packaging. After all, material not involved in the production of packaging will never need to be reused or recycled. Pretty basic, right?
Life Cycle Assessment is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process or service. In the case of a manufactured product – like a label or package – the LCA examines everything from raw material extraction, processing, product manufacture, distribution, and final use. You can learn more about LCA here.
Here’s a brief, high-level LCA to demonstrate the impacts made by a label material reduction strategy.
Consider a packaging label used to decorate a bottle of your favorite beverage. This label covers a specific area (Length x width) of the package. Now let’s say we were to make some minor adjustments to the label size, making it just a little bit smaller. There may be little change in the package visually as a result of this alteration, but the benefits could be many:
At the print stage, the label takes up less space on a press. In the case of a flexographic print scenario, this may allow for one more label to run across the width of the web, resulting in a reduction of the material needed to produce the same number of labels. The length of the entire press run will go down.
Let’s make an adjustment to further reduce the material used by employing a ‘thinner’ material for our label (called ‘down-gauging’). Again, the change will be hard to recognize on the finished package, but from a sustainability standpoint there’s a payoff. A thinner label stock requires less raw material to create, whether it’s synthetic film or paper. That’s a win right out of the gate. In the finishing process, the thinner material will allow more labels to be wound to the same roll diameter specification as a thicker label. Sustainability gains are realized right down the line.
Less material has been used – Reduction in materials consumed will result in a proportional reduction in waste generated. There less material that needs to be recycled at all, or that will end up in a landfill.
Less transport packaging is needed – With fewer rolls required to yield the same number of labels, fewer shipping cartons will be required. That many fewer cartons will need to be recycled or potentially end up in a landfill.
Shipments will weigh less – Since the number of cartons has been reduced, the amount weight transported will decrease is well. That means every truck shipment will be more efficient, and fewer trips will be needed to deliver the same number of labels.
Reduction in fuel used – Fewer deliver trips will result in less use of finite fossil fuels. Less fuel burned in combustion means a reduction of CO2 released into the atmosphere – a good thing indeed.
You can imagine the sustainable gains made when you extrapolate the above scenario out over a couple of years. Just think of the environmental benefits of doing this to an entire product line, or when more and more brands do the same thing.
Taken a step further; let’s assume the material we’re using is tree based – either paper fiber or a tree-based synthetic film. The trees left out of the equation (don’t get cut down!) in our reduction scenario are still doing their thing by soaking up CO2 in the atmosphere. Yay trees!
If you’re looking to move toward more sustainable packaging but not sure where to start, consider label material reduction options. The experts at AWT can help with this, and all the other sustainable options for your label and packaging needs.