Sustainable packaging is a $150 billion industry that is expected to grow over the next three years as consumers gravitate toward businesses who consider the social and environmental impacts of their operations.
- McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants have switched from bleached napkins and bags to natural paper with water-based dyes. The new designs are easier to recycle and healthier for both young and elderly customers.
- Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Tim Hortons sell re-useable mugs and tumblers to their customers. These options not only reduce packaging costs, but also promote their brands and increase customer loyalty through discount programs. Starbucks has also committed by 2015 to have 100% of its cups made from recycled-content.
- Coca-Cola has been selling Dasani water in its trademarked PlantBottle packaging since 2011. PlantBottles are created with plant-based materials and require less petroleum to produce than traditional plastic bottles. (The company has also been in the news recently for their new commercial showcasing soda bottles made of ice.)
- Dell has saved over $18 million dollars and eliminated 20 million pounds of packaging waste through reducing the size of their packaging by 12% and increasing its recyclable content. Dell is an innovator worth following when it comes to sustainable supply chains; they have committed to 100%-waste-free packaging by 2020.
Your business can learn from these global mega-corporations and leverage their innovations to save money, reduce waste, and turn packaging to be more environmentally-friendly. Consider hiring a sustainability consultant to help you with your packaging and purchasing practices.