With consumers being environmentally and socially aware now more than ever, sustainability is a big topic for companies both big and small. In fact, we even predicted one of the biggest 2020 smart packaging trends would be sustainability. Although the topic is discussed often in business meetings, there still seems to be a gap between those who know it’s important and those taking steps to do something about it. In an article published by IMD, studies show that, “90% of executives find sustainability to be important, only 60% of companies incorporate sustainability in their strategy, and merely 25% have sustainability incorporated in their business model”. Luckily, there are small changes brands can begin to implement to their business practices in order to take steps towards a more sustainable future. We see opportunities in the market for both plastic & paper reduction, recycling initiatives, as well as creative uses of packaging that contribute positively to the environment and to customers’ environmental awareness.
Connected packaging solutions allow customers to receive information digitally which can lead to a lot less paper waste. For example, meal–ready kits, which have seen an increase in sales in recent months due to the pandemic, could simply incorporate digital instructions & recipe sheets into their boxes. A small card insert can be a fraction of the amount of paper currently used and can lead to huge environmental benefits.
Some companies vow to commit to a better future by implementing practices like fair trade and protecting parts of the environment that are in danger, like jungles and forests. ERP software giant SAP utilized Touchcode’s connected packaging technology to hand out 100% fair trade chocolate to clients at a marketing event. The chocolate came with promotional cards attached that allowed customers to connect to a website where they could click to save one square meter of forest in Panama.
Recycling has been on the forefront of consumers’ and brands’ minds for quite some time now. Large corporations have even announced pledges to create more recyclable products within the next five to ten years. So much so that Coca-Cola held a Recycling Challenge at the 2019 Active and Intelligent Packaging Association (AIPA) World Congress. The challenge focused on leveraging smart packaging to encourage consumers to recycle. Touchcode presented a “smart cap” for Coca-Cola’s beverage bottles and a connected fridge pack, both of which would be printed with invisible conductive ink that consumers could scan with a smartphone to receive information on how to recycle the bottle or details on the nearest recycling facility.
Ready to start taking steps towards a more sustainable future with packaging technology that creates zero electronic waste? Get in touch today.