The last few years has seen an unprecedented change in the way packaging is designed and disposed of. Sir David Attenborough opened our eyes to the problem with plastics, but this was only the beginning. Slowly, we all began to realise that we cannot continue to live in a consumer driven ‘take, make, waste’ world. The Chinese National Sword came into force early in 2018, which posed restrictions on the waste we could ship abroad. China had quite rightly had enough of taking the world’s waste. It’s clear we cannot simply recycle our way out of the waste crisis. Instead we must find ways to close the loop and make our packaging more circular. Packaging must be kept in use for longer and recycling should only be used as a last resort.
Consumers have been at the forefront of change. As they demand more plastic free, environmentally friendly packaging, the packaging industry has had to respond in order to stay competitive, and respond they have, in incredibly innovative and exciting ways.
Refillable or reusable packaging options have huge benefits. They support a circular economy as waste is designed out and materials are kept in use for longer. Reusable packaging is proving popular not only for its environmental benefits but also for its financial ones. Reusable packaging works out cheaper in the long run, both for the consumer and the company. 2020 is expected to see extended producer responsibility that require manufacturers and retailers to contribute to the cost of collecting, recycling and disposing of their products at the end of their life or use. Companies are beginning to produce better packaging that can be more easily recycled. They’re also more willing to collaborate with other businesses to ensure the packaging they produce is properly dealt with.
It’s no doubt an exciting time for the packaging industry. So let’s take a look at just a few of the up and coming companies taking the industry by storm with their reusable packaging.
We couldn’t write this particular blog article without referencing the Reuseabox model from Reuseabox. Founded by Jack Good, Reuseabox enables reuse on an industrial scale, taking care of the redundant packaging that is often un-seen by the consumer. Everyday millions of cardboard boxes are delivered into factories across the UK containing ingredients, parts, or maybe even other types of packaging. The boxes are unpacked in the factories before being discarded in a near new condition, destined for the baler.
Cardboard boxes are strong and sturdy, definitely not a single use item! Reuseabox collect these boxes and make them available for re-sale as low cost, environmentally friendly outer packing boxes. Reusing cardboard boxes will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your packaging and ultimately saves trees. In fact, for every tonne of cardboard that is reused, around 17 trees are saved.
Originating in Finland, RePack focuses on the huge amount of single use waste generated by the e-commerce industry. RePack creates e-commerce packaging that is strong, durable and reusable. Packages come in three adjustable sizes and are designed to fold into a letter size when empty. This means customers can simply post them back from anywhere in the world. When the package is returned, shoppers get a discount off their next order, a great reuse incentive!
CupClub is a reusable coffee cup service that supplies reusable cups to coffee shops and other businesses. Each cup can be reused 132 times and is fitted with electronic identification so CupClub can track the usage. Once a cup has reached the end of its life, it is collected, broken down and upcycled.
Algramo, founded by Jose Manuel Moller in Santiago, Chile, sells grocery basics, such as rice and detergents, in reusable containers by the gram. This not only cuts out single use plastics, but also benefits low income shoppers. Packaging typically increases an item’s price by 30-50%, which is often felt the most by low income shoppers who buy in smaller quantities.
If you’re looking for reusable packaging for your business, take a look at our website where we have a range of truly sustainable, new and used cardboard boxes. Choose from the following:
– A4 Boxes