Powerful Tips to Transition into Sustainable Packaging to Stay Competitive

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Sustainability isn’t just about eliminating the use of plastic packaging. It’s about having a holistic approach to avoiding further damage to the environment without compromising the profits of your business.

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Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Packoi Team

Transitioning into sustainable packaging doesn’t happen overnight. It has to be carefully planned because there are many materials and options to create new eco-friendly packaging for your brand.

That takes time and research.

In this article, you’ll learn how to transition into the right sustainable packaging that won’t harm the environment and will help your business stay competitive.

Why do You Need to Change to Sustainable Packaging?

sustainable packaging

If you’re going to change your plastic packaging into something more eco-friendly, you have to be prepared. This will take a huge overhaul of your brand.


Because when it comes to sustainability, you either “go big or go home.” If you only use one sustainable packaging and keep the rest as it is, then your efforts will be for nothing. 

Even if you get your customers to notice you, that interest will soon fade when they realize that you’re only practicing sustainability in one area of your business.

That won’t be enough to make your efforts authentic and sincere.

That means your sustainable practices should be encompassing. It should be reflected in everything that you do and in all the output that you produce. It should gradually change everything about your business.

That’s how you can make a difference in reducing your carbon footprint and your environmental impact – while improving your brand’s reputation.

In short, using sustainable packaging is good for your business.

5 Reasons to Opt for Sustainable Packaging 

Committing to using sustainable packaging may involve a lot of planning, improvement, and work – but it’s all worth it.

There are 5 different reasons why you should insert enough effort to make this happen as soon as possible.

Customers Are Expecting It

If you look at popular consumer sentiments, you’ll realize that they prefer to give their brand loyalty to those who are more sustainable in their ways.

This isn’t a trend that’ll go away in time. There are a lot of signs that people are looking for more eco-friendly packaging. 

They’ve seen and experienced the negative effects of global warming, climate change, and deforestation. They are aware of the devastation that plastic pollution has done to marine and forest wildlife.

People are hungry to take part to reverse the effects of nature’s destruction. So if you want to attract and appeal to greater consumer preferences, opt for sustainable packaging.

Don’t just think that changing your packaging is enough. It’s not.

Customers are getting themselves educated about sustainability. You can be sure that any half-hearted efforts will be noticed by them. Make sure your efforts are recognizable.

Not only that, but you should also get to know what your specific customers are looking for in terms of sustainability. Or at least, you should know what appeals to them.

There are options like compostable packaging that your target market may not be able to appreciate because they mostly live in urban areas with no front or backyards. 

This will make composting hard to practice. You may be better off making your packaging recyclable or reusable.

sustainable packaging box

Major Brands Are Doing It

More companies are switching to more eco-friendly ways. That’s a sign that you should get serious with your sustainable packaging strategy.

You see, to make your business thrive, you need to stay competitive. This doesn’t mean you have to copy everything that your competitors are doing.

It’s more of making sure that despite what your competitors are doing, your customers will still choose your business.

So if major brands and your closest competitors are starting to practice sustainability, you need to see how you can implement the same changes. 

That’s how you stay ahead of your competition. Keep an eye on what they’re doing so you can find a way to do better than them.

If you know your customers well, you’ll know what sustainable materials or packaging innovations you can use to keep them loyal to your brand.

Retailers Are Requiring It

A lot of retailers like Target and Walmart are requiring their partners to start practicing sustainability. They’ve since released new guidelines to their vendors to give them directives for being more sustainable.

This may apply to you if your business displays products in retail and department stores. You have to consider the changes in their guidelines. If their direction is towards eco-friendly ways, you have to create more sustainable product packaging.

Make sure you pay attention to this because packaging solutions play an important role in helping you sell more. Your sustainable packaging solution shouldn’t just adhere to the new rules of the retailer.

Take advantage of the changes to position your brand to be above and over the others. If everyone will be taking the same route to be more sustainable, choose to rise above their efforts.

Make sure you stand out.

Governments Are Calling for It

sustainable food packaging

With people demanding action to help protect the environment, governments around the world are stepping up to promote eco-friendly practices. You can even say that they are starting to demand businesses to comply.

There’s specific pressure on the packaging industry. Why? 

Because most packaging ends up as waste.

Not only that, irresponsible practices in the supply chain are leaving a huge carbon footprint. It’s also aggravating the deforestation and plastic pollution problems.

This is why governments are encouraging businesses to start looking for green packaging solutions. When more businesses use sustainable packaging, suppliers, and manufacturers will be forced to comply with the new requirements.

How is the government encouraging this?

They’re offering incentives. They’re also giving tax breaks to companies that have proven they’ve switched to eco-friendly practices.

Check out what your government is offering so you can take advantage. If your business caters to a global market, make sure you also check what their local governments are offering. Your green packaging practices may lead to incredible opportunities abroad.

Employees Feel Inspired by It

Your business will enjoy internal benefits when you opt for environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

Studies reveal that employees don’t just stay in a company because of the compensation or the work that they do. It’s also important for them to work for an employer that has the same values as they do.

Now it’s important to know that not all employees will understand your need to be more sustainable. This is why you must try to educate them about your plans to implement sustainable practices.

The more they know about the value of sustainable packaging, the more they’ll want to help you make it a huge success. They have to understand that it’s not just about the environment but helping position your product packaging in a better light.

If you do this right, it won’t just be customers that’ll be impressed with you. Even your employees will feel a deeper sense of loyalty and gratitude. They’ll feel proud of being associated with your brand.

With this, you don’t have to do anything to motivate and inspire them to be more productive. They’ll be encouraged to do it themselves. You might even encourage them to be more conscious of their carbon footprint.

sustainable packaging

8 Do’s and Don’ts When Transitioning into Sustainable Packaging

Now that you understand how beneficial it is to transition into sustainable packaging, it’s time to get started on it. But before looking for a manufacturer with flexible packaging options, make sure you’re following certain rules to ensure that you’re doing it right.

Just like with any new product packaging you’ll create, you need to be careful with your transition so you don’t compromise the momentum of your sales. You want to be sure that your customers won’t be confused by the sustainable solutions that you’re implementing.

Here are the important dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind.

Do a Thorough Research

There are many sustainable packaging options to choose from – recycling, reusing, and reducing are the popular ones. Later in this article, you’ll learn more about them.

The thing is, doing your research about green packaging isn’t just about knowing what it means to recycle products or to create flexible packaging that can be reused to reduce waste.

Your research should be more thorough than that.

You have to understand the supply chain that your packaging materials will go through. This will give you an idea about the real effects of your packaging in terms of its carbon footprint.

This isn’t just about choosing and doing the right packaging option. It’s also about knowing how you can explain to your customers the effects of your sustainability efforts.

That’s how you can set up the right foundations for your sustainable packaging.

Don’t Rush Through It

Once you’ve done your research, it’s important to keep yourself from rushing through the whole process. Every step should be part of an overall sustainable packaging strategy.

For instance, being eco-friendly isn’t just about removing plastic from your packaging. You also have to consider what your product needs.

Why did it use plastic bags in the first place? If that plastic contributes to making the packaging design durable, you have to find the right alternative to that plastic. You can use biodegradable plastic as your eco-friendly packaging.

But that’s not all. You shouldn’t change everything at once. You have to test how your customers will react to the changes.

In case they don’t react to it positively, you can change your strategy and opt for a better eco-friendly solution.

sustainable packaging

Do a Mock Up of the Packaging

Creating a new packaging design requires you to test it several times. As mentioned, you want to test how your market will react to it first.

Use your research as the basis for the new design then find a packaging supplier who can do a mock-up for you. Or you can create the mockup yourself if the materials are simple and easily accessible.

Through the mockup, you can get a feel of the sustainable packaging that you’re creating. You can decide if it fits your brand narrative. 

While the sustainability efforts will eventually change or improve your brand’s story, you don’t want it to deviate too much from your original story.

Once you are happy with the mock-up of your new packaging, check with your customers. Get feedback from your employees, too.

Combine their comments to figure out how to change your packaging into a more sustainable version of it.

Don’t Ignore the Pricing

As you’re creating more sustainable product packaging, keep an eye on the pricing. The thing about sustainable product packaging is it can become quite expensive if you’re not careful about it.

The fact that you’re changing your packaging – you already need to budget for that. If sustainable packaging is new ground for you, how will you know which options are the most cost-efficient ones?

This is why it’s important to do your research so you can choose the most cost-efficient sustainable packaging solution that you can find.

If you want to be sure about your options, ask an expert about them. Go to your current packaging supplier and ask about the eco-friendly options that they have to offer. 

Since you’re already familiar with them, provide them with your budget then discuss how you can meet your goals without going beyond your budget.

Do a Make-over

When you’re transitioning into sustainable packaging, you don’t have to make it drastic. As mentioned, there’s no need to rush through it. You can make the changes gradually.

One way to do this is to just do a makeover of your current packaging. For instance, your current packaging is a cardboard box with plastic as the outer packaging. Just remove the plastic bag and opt for a paper band wrap with a handle.

That’s a more environmentally-friendly packaging option that’ll only make you change the plastic into a paper band.

It won’t change everything but it’ll make it more eco-friendly.

Don’t Order in Bulk – Yet

sustainable packaging

Even after you’ve tested your new sustainable packaging and your employees and customers like them, don’t order in bulk yet.

Order in small volumes until you’re sure that the new packaging is something that you know you’ll be using for a long time.

The thing about sustainability is improvements are happening now and then. If you order in bulk, something new and innovative might come out that’s better suited for your product. But you can’t use it to impress your customers because you’re stuck with the older packaging that you ordered in huge quantities.

Unless you’re sure you can use sustainable product packaging for many products, keep your orders small.

Do a Proper Launch

When you’re ready to bring out your new packaging, make sure you do a proper launch. Don’t just roll it out and display it on the shelf.

You can do a teaser a few weeks before you show the new version of your product packaging.

Then make a big deal out of the first day that the sustainable packaging hits the store. Put POP signages to announce the new design of your packaging.

Publish an article on your website about the new sustainable packaging. Tell the story of how it was created and the inspiration behind it.

Create engagement by encouraging customers to take a photo of the packaging they got and post it online.

These are only a few ways you can create noise (both online and offline) so people will know of your efforts to be more sustainable.

Don’t Throw Away Your Old Packaging

Although you’ve launched the new packaging, don’t be too quick to throw out the old one. 

Remember, part of sustainability is to reduce waste. That includes packaging waste. If you’ll throw away your current packaging, you’ll be going against your eco-friendly efforts.

If you can’t wait to launch the sustainable packaging you created, at least keep some of the old packagings in other stores. Gradually pull out the old one and consolidate it in a few stores while the others will be carrying the new one.

This way, there won’t be any packaging waste.

You can also check if the old version of your packaging can be reused for something else. That should be aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish in the new direction of your business.

Be More Competitive Through Sustainable Packaging. Packoi Printing Can Help.

Your transition from traditional to sustainable packaging doesn’t have to be complicated. You can create the best environmentally-friendly packaging that’ll catch the attention of your market and grow your business.

Packoi Printing can make it happen for you. We are an FSC-certified packaging company that can educate you about the best way to be sustainable.

It’s time to start operating sustainably while staying competitive. Give us your ideas and we’ll send you a fair quotation in no time.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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