The Advantages of Using Reusable Packaging in Your Business

Updated on 27 November 2022

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The Advantages of Using Reusable Packaging in Your Business

The zero waste trend continues to gain momentum as consumers become aware of harmful packaging materials ending up in landfills. In response, more businesses are making the switch to reusable and other eco-friendly packaging alternatives. These are not only good for the environment and consumers, but also their business’s bottom line.

Packaging for businesses

Packaging has many uses for a business. It allows for the safe transportation and storage of products, acts as a marketing tool and also displays important product information. Examples of common packaging products are cardboard boxes and takeaway cartons. Other types of packaging are plastic containers and loose-fill packaging used to provide cushioning around packed items.

What is reusable packaging ?

Eco-packaging refers to packaging that is biodegradable, eco-friendly and reusable. It is designed to reduce the environmental footprint by preserving natural resources and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

To qualify as eco-friendly, packaging must fulfil some of the following requirements.

  • Safe and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle.
  • Is designed to optimise materials and energy.
  • Sourced, manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy.
  • Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices.

Types of reusable packaging

There are three main types of environmentally-friendly packaging on the market. The first is reusable or returnable packaging such as glass which can be cleaned and reused. Secondly, recyclable packaging which is made of materials that can be reprocessed for use in new products such as glass, metal, card, paper and certain plastics. Lastly, biodegradable packaging is made from materials that easily break down in the soil or the atmosphere.

Below are the business benefits of making the switch to green packaging.

Better consumer perception of your brand and business

One of the biggest benefits of switching to sustainable packaging is the potential boost to your brand’s reputation and image. Consumers want to support business that care for their customers and the planet and not just profits.

The consumer demand for more environmentally friendly options is not expected to go away anytime soon. The Mckinsey & Company article, ‘Stretched South African consumers put health and sustainability on the shopping list’ shows that consumers are willing to put their money whether their mouths are. The report shows that despite significant financial pressure, “South African consumers have expressed a growing willingness to pay a premium for healthy eating and sustainability over the last two years.”

Reduces carbon footprint

The main driver for the adoption of reusable packaging is the environmental benefits. Eco-friendly and sustainable packaging is designed to reduce waste of resources, including energy, water and emissions. Green packaging is also free of harmful toxins that are often present in traditional packaging. This makes earth-friendly packaging not only safer for the environment, but humans too.

Long-term cost savings

While it may be expensive to make the initial switch to reusable packaging, there are long-term cost savings for businesses. Going green cuts down on the actual amount of packaging materials used to ship goods which saves on shipping and transport costs. What’s more, there are opportunities to boost revenue by attracting consumers who are looking to buy from businesses with green credentials.

See also: Green Business Ideas in South Africa

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