Companies can pursue a number of sustainable practices to build trust with consumers. From selecting post consumer recycled materials for use at the production level to take-back schemes or clear labeling of disposal methods, here are a few measures that almost any enterprise can take to promote and benefit from both the optics and principles of sustainable business practices.
The Use of PCR Materials At Production Level
While many companies that produce packaged goods think primarily about final product design and the materials used to produce packaging for sale, it is also important to consider materials used in production. Selecting PCR materials for use at the production level can show a broad commitment to sustainability that goes beyond the polished products that you present to consumers.
PCR materials can be utilized at various stages of production. Based on the type of products you make and the requirements for production and packaging, different materials or package designs may be available. Food-grade PCR materials may be options for use at the production level for products that are ultimately intended for frozen packaging as well as other types of consumables.
Implement Take-Back Scheme and Involve Consumers
Take-back schemes are internal recycling programs or partnerships with private recycling companies that specialize in processing particular packaging materials. Services such as TerraCycle are popular for sustainable cosmetics, personal care and vitamin packaging, while other companies run internal take-back schemes through which they refurbish and reuse packaging materials.
Approximately 95% of Americans say they recycle, but a recent survey shows that fewer than half actually understand the basics of how recycling works. The increasing popularity of sustainable corporate practices and critical assessments of the meaning of sustainability have increased consumer interest. Brands can educate consumers and guard against allegations of “greenwashing” by engaging consumers in sustainability practices.
Print Store Drop-Off or Recycling Logos on Packaging
As most people in the United States try to recycle, including clear logos to indicate the most sustainable disposal method can go a long way toward building customer trust. Even if packaging materials cannot readily be recycled in single- or mixed-stream recycling programs in certain areas, many consumers will go the extra mile to do store drop-off or participate in other specified recycling programs.
Many types of flexible packaging are eligible for #2 Resin ID codes or generic store drop-off labeling. Companies committed to promoting recycling can also meet the requirements to print a How2Recycle program code on packaging. Recycling programs vary across municipalities and states. Decision makers who are tasked with promoting sustainability should factor in the recycling options in target markets.
Using PCR materials where possible is one way for a company to reduce the amount of virgin material it uses. Take-back schemes and private recycling programs are also effective ways to engage with and encourage customers to take responsibility for proper disposal of the products that they consume. Providing specific disposal information can go a long way towards keeping product packaging out of landfills and minimizing unnecessary resource expenditure.