Why the FMCG Industry Must Lead the Way on Sustainable Packaging
These days, a lot of FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) companies are really stepping up their game when it comes to the pressure of the climate crisis. Rightly, they’re putting more focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. This involves reducing environmental impact through sustainable FMCG packaging and minimising waste – a change we’re happy to see.
One area where the FMCG industry can make a big difference is by swapping their usual single-use packaging for more sustainable alternatives. Packaging is a fundamental part of all FMCG businesses, and they’ve realised that they can have a major impact on the environment by using more sustainable materials and reducing waste.
But why does the FMCG industry need to stay ahead of the game?
Consumers Demand Sustainable Brands
It’s great to see how consumers are becoming more conscious about the environment and actively seeking out products with sustainable packaging. We’ve already seen a shift in behaviour with the widespread adoption of sustainable products, like reusable bags and paper straws. It’s not just a passing fad but a significant trend that FMCG brands need to pay attention to. People want to buy from brands that align with their environmental values, and sustainable packaging plays an essential role in it.
Surveys and studies consistently show that consumers demand eco-friendly packaging options. A study by Packaging Digest revealed that a whopping 92% of consumers believe that minimalist and eco-friendly packaging is necessary. Likewise, a study by McKinsey found that consumers are avoiding products that have been greenwashed. McKinsey found that this poses reputational risks to businesses by ruining the trust of their consumers.
By being proactive and coming up with innovative packaging solutions, FMCG brands can meet these expectations and make a positive impact on both the environment and their relationship with customers.
Sustainable Changes to the Value Chain
As it stands, a lot of FMCG packaging is single-use, usually for convenience and cost-efficiency purposes. But Scope 3 emissions (indirect greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a company’s value chain activities) are pushing FMCG companies to think about the environmental impact of their packaging choices. Businesses are encouraged to explore sustainable alternatives to reduce the typical single-use nature of products by promoting reuse and recyclability and adopting circular economy principles.
At Greyhound Box, we prioritise sustainability throughout our own value chain and the value chain of our clients. We always consider the entire lifecycle of our boxes. By using efficiently designed packaging, we contribute to reducing shipping emissions and maintaining fuel efficiency during transportation due to the lightweight nature of our high-quality boxes. We also promote the use of multi-trip packaging, which enables a single box to withstand multiple journeys within the supply chain.
Rethinking Packaging Processes
A great example of how we can add sustainability to the entire lifecycle of our products is our work with SoluPak who are the creators of an impressive range of water-soluble cleaning products. We’ve supplied SoluPak with carefully designed corrugated cardboard packaging which ensures both the secure and more carbon-efficient transportation of their products. Our materials are carefully chosen to be recyclable and responsibly sourced.
Big Brands Leading the Way
We’re not the only ones who are thinking about ESG and sustainable packaging in FMCG. Huge brands like PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble are all making significant changes in their packaging to increase sustainability even before the UK’s net-zero target. But, in the FMCG world, you don’t find a bigger name than Coca-Cola, which is why seeing them make changes is so great!
Coca-Cola have committed to making its packaging eco-friendlier, aiming to use at least 50% recycled materials, across its portfolio of brands, by 2030. They’ve already made alterations to their packaging designs to facilitate easier recycling. One measure involves reducing the use of coloured recycled PET in their bottles to ensure efficient recycling. By 2030, Coca-Cola aims to have at least 25% of all beverages globally sold in refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles.
Sustainable Packaging Solutions
To make bigger changes, FMCGs should also concentrate on improving the wider picture of their packaging. Currently, single-use materials are widely used, like cellophane which is hard to recycle due to its mixed materials and chemical additives. Transitioning consumer-facing products away from plastic and to glass or canned packaging means FMCGs will also need to consider changing the wrap that holds their products together. Cellophane is less suited to hold products stored in more fragile containers, like glass, with corrugated cardboard the sturdier and more viable option.
At Greyhound Box, we’ve been thinking about ESG for a long time. We understand that sustainable packaging isn’t just a buzzword, but a meaningful way for FMCG companies to make a difference and show their commitment to a more sustainable future. By using sustainable packaging materials, FMCG companies can cut down on waste and make better use of our resources.
So, if you’re in the FMCG industry, looking to meet your ESG targets, and show your customers that you care about the environment, we’ve got you covered. Our sustainable packaging solutions will help you reduce your environmental impact and move towards a more sustainable future.
Are you ready to switch-up your FMCG packaging? Take action now and get in touch with our expert team!