Why Plastic Alternatives?
Plastic was considered a technological miracle for many decades. This material is used for practically everything imaginable, from the packaging of food to the pipes that run through our walls since it is ridiculously inexpensive, simple, and easy to create while still maintaining its flexibility and durability. Although plastic is still inexpensive and handy, we now understand that it is related with a number of significant issues driving consumer to seek food packaging with plastic alternatives.
One of its characteristics is that it does not biodegrade in the same manner that other materials do. In addition to this, as it is intended to be used only once and then thrown away, it frequently winds up in landfills and oceans. And some varieties of plastics even contain poisonous substances that can be damaging to people as well as other forms of life.
For all of these reasons, customers are becoming increasingly interested in finding plastic alternatives. But what exactly do these different options look like, and how can your brand make the most of this trend?
Customers Look For Sustainability and
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the companies and brands they choose to patronize. A survey conducted in April 2022 found that 81 percent of respondents are either somewhat concerned or very concerned about the “sustainability and the environment’s future.” In addition, research shows that eighty percent of consumers in the United States now think about environmental impact while making at least some of their purchases.
One component of sustainable practices is minimizing one’s reliance on plastics, or at the very least, developing and utilizing plastics that have a smaller negative impact on the environment. However, it is safe to assume that not all customers are aware of the specific reasons why or ways in which plastic is hazardous. In spite of this, we are all aware that making excessive use of products made of throwaway plastic is normally dangerous.
More Plastic in the Ocean Than Fish?
The problem caused by plastic is only going to get worse. It is anticipated that by the year 2050, there will be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than there would be fish. Furthermore, there are currently millions of tons of plastic in our landfills, which are unable to decompose in the same manner that organic things do.
As a company, you do not have unrestricted ability to find a solution to this issue. You are not in possession of a wand that has the power to miraculously dissolve plastic, nor are you able to go into every dump and forcibly recycle the plastic that is there. You can, however, reduce the amount of plastic you use for packaging by taking certain steps. Even while it may seem like an insignificant action, it can have a big impact on both the environment and the attitudes of customers.
Plastic Alternatives for Food Packaging Brands
The good news is that businesses and sustainable brand experts can currently choose from a wide variety of alternatives to plastic. Using any one of these alternatives can help you reduce the amount of plastic you use:
- Paper goods. As more individuals opt out of using plastic straws and bags, the use of paper straws and paper bags has experienced a meteoric spike in popularity. In most circumstances, paper costs almost as little as plastic does, but it has the advantage of being biodegradable, is lightweight enough, and is strong enough to be employed in functional applications. It is one of the better choices you have.
- Bagasse. Bagasse is a material that is not made of plastic and has the ability to dissolve swiftly without releasing any substances that are damaging to the environment. Rice straw has one and only one drawback, and that is that it can become less durable when exposed to high temperatures. Given that it is mostly composed of carbohydrates, cellulose, and lignin, rice straw can naturally disintegrate when it is exposed to rice. It has a strong resistance to being compacted, but its longevity may not be on par with other available choices.
- Biodegradable plastics. Researchers and inventors are currently working on developing new kinds of biodegradable plastics, or at the very least plastics that are more biodegradable than their predecessors. Recycling bioplastics is significantly simpler, and they have a lot smaller negative influence on the environment. Despite this, they continue to pose a threat to the quality of the ocean’s water and are typically more expensive than other available options.
- Innovative presentation of the product. To lessen your reliance on the packaging, you might want to think of packing your food in a more creative manner rather than purchasing new materials for the packaging. Additionally, increasing the sustainability of your business could be accomplished by offering your product in a smaller box, particularly at scale.
Promoting Choosing Plastic Alternatives
Cutting back on your use of plastic is a step in the right direction if you care about the health of the environment. But you’ll need to actively publicize that transformation if you want to reap the reputational and financial benefits of it.
- Put an emphasis on how environmentally friendly the packaging is. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your clients are smart enough to figure it out on their own. Instead, highlight your brand new environmentally friendly packaging system on the back of each individual box.
- Publish a report on the environment’s impact. Now, more than eighty percent of corporations publish annual reports on their sustainability efforts. Join them, and be sure to convey just how significant an influence you are making on the world.
- Create powerful collaborative efforts. To reduce the impact that humans have on the environment, you might want to explore the possibility of forming partnerships with other businesses or charitable organizations.
- Communicate with your target demographic directly. The messages that you send out through marketing and advertising should appeal to your newly implemented sustainability initiatives.
Customers in this day and age are not content with “business as usual.” They expect your company to be environmentally conscious and make an effort to preserve the natural world around us. One of the most effective methods to achieve this goal is to lessen your dependency on plastic, cut down on the amount of total packaging, or look for alternatives to plastic. If you are able to implement this modification and successfully promote it, you will be able to significantly boost the amount of audience members that are loyal to your brand.