Global companies are working towards using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
Packaging is very much a hot topic, but some of the solutions being voiced make very little environmental sense. Business should use this time to make ‘meaningful changes’ with real long-term benefits for the environment.
The race is on to find sustainable solutions.
A success story and a disaster!
Plastic is both a success story and a ‘global disaster’, at the same time!
The rise of single use plastics has been a result of its super-flexibility and suitability for a wide range of packaging applications.
Changing consumption patterns globally, has resulted in the increase of this lightweight packaging, which allegedly, not only protects, but in the case of some food items, enhance product shelf life.
But guess what, so does Paper …….?
There is no denying that the failure to address the littering, mainly caused by irresponsible consumer behaviour, along with the challenges faced with recycling some polymer types has certainly had wide reaching impacts on our land and marine environments globally. As you will see from the statement below the clean up in our oceans alone is immense and there no quick fixes.
Ocean currents concentrate plastic in five areas in the world: the subtropical gyres, also known as the world’s "ocean garbage patches". Once in these patches, the plastic will not go away by itself. The challenge of cleaning up the gyres is the plastic pollution spreads across millions of square kilometres and travels in all directions. Covering this area using vessels and nets would take thousands of years and cost billions of dollars to complete. How can we use these ocean currents to our advantage?
There are many innovative studies and ideas to support the use of paper and biodegradable products, bottles made from paper, bags made from seaweed to name a couple, there are always solutions to be found. Sometimes they are the unusual and other times they are more conventional. Either way there are environmentally friendly solutions to be sourced, this is what we at Switch strive to work towards, looking at both the short and longer terms.
Sadly, the failure to address the waste and pollution issues coupled with the challenges faced with recycling some polymer types, it has certainly had wide reaching impacts on our land and marine environments globally.
So where do we fit in, apart from the fact that we are passionate about innovate solutions for your packaging needs, we absolutely want to work in a ‘trusted partnership’ to support our customers on their journey from plastic to paper packaging.
Finding the path to real packaging solutions
Luckily, the UK’s packaging supply chain is typically quite innovative and is used to responding to environmental legislation, as well as requirements from leading manufacturers and retailers to increase recyclability of materials or to replace substances of concern.
To understand the full picture, we would happily engage with you to look at the challenges that are faced by business. We have a very much consultative approach to what we do, we are sympathetic to the challenges and understand that there may be limitations but also opportunities to provide sustainable solutions for various packaging needs, no packaging requirement is too small. We are always happy to talk. Advice costs nothing …
Sustainability and Convenience
What is clear to us here is that we will be seeing a greater use of recyclable and biodegradable materials, lighter packaging and a clear commitment to recycling and reuse. New packaging needs to interact with the product it contains, improving its properties and prolonging its useful life.
Ecommerce and Experience
A key area hugely impacting packaging trend is ‘ecommerce’.
We live in an omnichannel environment, traditional notions of shopping channels have become blurred, packaging clearly must work in both physical stores as well as being viewed and ordered purely online. That is where your brand identity must have maximum impact, particularly for new consumers, or for brands operating a ‘direct to consumer’ model, or indeed purchased via voice-commerce apps and then delivered.
We have seen the humble ‘cardboard box’ receive an extreme makeover recently. The ‘wow factor’ of the box opening moment is fast becoming the new brand touch point. It could go as far that this is the new shopping bag!
The cardboard box has a halo effect, signifying sustainability and therefore ‘better for the planet’ being fit for purpose and a relative newcomer and has only been produced for a mere 700 years!
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