Sustainability is one of the top trends for 2020. Many established companies and fresh star-ups are working on alternative packaging options. Better Packaging Co, a new start-up from Australia, now aims to reduce amount of plastic waste generated by the eCommerce industry.
#BeBetter Campaign by Better Packaging – drupa
Today’s society tends to treat the planet as if it has infinite resources and infinite capacity to dispose of the waste we create. Of course, this is a topic that affects the print industry as well. In an effort to evolve from a lineal economy of short-lived products and packaging to a circular economy, we are always looking for the next big thing. Future technologies and improved manufacturing practices create new possibilities not only for our industry but society as a whole, yet we shouldn’t deny the impact of our packaging material choices. Not for nothing: Sustainability is one of the top trends for 2020.
Better Packaging For A Better World
In the last few years, we have seen big corporations work on more sustainable approaches. Additionally, multiple start-ups, founded by the next generation of businessmen and the old guard of industry professionals, popped up onto the scene. One of those start-ups is Better Packaging Co from Australia. Kate Bezar and Rebecca Percasky founded the company last year after working with couriers in eCommerce for years and being horrified after seeing first-hand the amount of plastic waste the fast-lived industry generates. “We wanted to give retailers better alternatives, and so, The Better Packaging Co. was born. Our mission is to reduce plastic consumption and have brought far more Earth-friendly alternatives to the packing table,” said Percasky. They want to be part of the solution and encourage companies to join their efforts. Therefore, they decided to offer consumers and retailers satchel style biodegradable compostable packaging and make their packaging options widely available [or: easily accessible?]. Thousand of retailers already embraced the offering, from small Etsy sellers to global brands and courier companies like L’Oreal, Sendle, Jac+Jack and Karen Walker. But they are far from done: Percasky says, she hopes to educate more brands on how quickly they can adopt more environmental solutions. “Because our certified home compostable solutions can be directly substituted for current plastic ones, these changes can be made almost overnight,” she says. “We hope to educate brands and raise awareness through the #BeBetter consumer driven campaign.” Consumers are being encouraged to tag their favorite brands with the hashtag on social media to let them know, they also should use less plastic packaging.
The First Success Stories
“Fashion Label Mister Zimi, switched to our courier satchels first and were blown away by the positive responses from their customers. As soon as our compostable courier labels became available, they put in an order, now they are also providing our poly bags to their manufacturers so that individual garments can be protected by them, and most recently, they’ve begun using our smaller barcode labels too” said co-founder, Kate Bezar. And the two founders are happy to report that consumers are embracing their efforts as well. Their first case study shows that within weeks 90% of jewellery company Meadowlark’s customers are now choosing ‘eco-packaging’. For the trial they offered the eco-packaging option at checkout for the same price as their usual ‘Premium Packaging’: “The change hasn’t increased postage costs at all and has resulted in a significant reduction in packaging time as the other ‘Premium’ option requires staff to assemble a box, fold tissue, add a card, finish with a sticker then pop into the courier satchel. There’s also of course been a reduction in overall resources required; less ribbon, tissue, stickers … and the printed ‘care card’ has been replaced with a digital version.” The team of Meadowlark is satisfied by the results as well, saying that “having an option at check out that is compostable and reduces extra packaging was a no brainer”.
The Plastic Paradox
Better Packaging Co founders Kate Bezar and Rebecca Percasky are still looking to improve their purview. “We hope to educate both brands and their consumers on the alternative packaging options available and in the process make a dramatically positive impact on our environment,” Bezar explains. Still, plastic-free packaging is not a one size fits all solution. While sustainable packaging options increase in range and versatility, there are still areas where alternative packaging solutions simple cannot compare. Food packaging, for example, truly is one of those areas. But as always, we will keep following up on the latest trends and developments. Maybe there will already be new inventions on our upcoming trade fair #drupa2020?