Four Reasons to Focus on Sustainability in Packaging

When it comes to sustainability in packaging, there are a number of reasons why CPG brands should “go green” — from consumer perception, to reducing your carbon footprint.

More and more consumers are letting brands know that they care about the environment and choose products that align with their values. So, for consumer packaged goods manufacturers (CPG’s), it’s important to explore more sustainable solutions for your packaging (if you’re not already) in order to create a stronger connection with your audience — while minimizing your impact on the environment.

With research showing a shift towards a more environmentally-aware consumer market, below are four reasons why you should be introducing more sustainable elements into your brand packaging. 

1. You get props for paper.

Overwhelmingly, paper and cardboard are preferred by consumers because of their sustainability. Specifically, buyers see paper-based substrates as better for the environment (66%), easier to recycle (51%), and consumers also rate paper and paperboard tops for safety and ease of use. They also see paper as best for communicating product information and for creating a better brand image.

2. There is a shift away from plastics.

Not only is there a preference for paper-based substrates, but there is movement away from plastic. More than half (57%) of consumers surveyed are actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging. More than one-third (36%) would avoid retailers not actively trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable plastic packaging.

3. Shipping matters.

Buyers’ preference for paper and cardboard extends to shipping, as well. More than half (57%) want their products to be delivered in paper packaging rather than plastic. Choose boxes with branded labels over envelopes and make sure that the box is fitted properly. Seventy percent of buyers prefer products to be delivered in packaging that is “right sized” for the product(s) inside.

4. Environmental symbols matter, too.

Sustainable packing is a great starting point, but purchasing from sustainable sources is an excellent way to make your company “greener!” Most buyers are familiar with at least one of the following environmental labels: Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), 54%; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), 45%; and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), 42%. The well-known “recycling” symbol (“the Mobius Loop”) is recognized by 90% of consumers and is rated as being the most important.

The bottom line is that consumers are becoming more environmentally-aware and expressing a preference towards more sustainable products. Luckily for brands that can utilize paper for their packaging, there’s many ways to incorporate sustainable elements into your packaging while demonstrating your commitment to the environment. 

Source: Data taken from “U.S. Packaging Preferences 2020” (Two Sides North America)


Hatteras has made it a core mission to be ecologically responsible by providing high-quality, sustainable solutions to our clients and to the markets our clients serve. Let Hatteras help you explore sustainable options for your next print project. Contact our team today to get started. .

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