Worldwide, the packaging demand is growing at a rate of 2.9%. Experts estimate the $851 billion packaging industry worth by 2022. Out of this, the paperboard and paper packaging occupies about $213.4 billion worth market share. In fact, the demand for paper packaging is increasing at a rate of 3.5% per year. But, what are the factors driving leading manufacturers’ attention toward paper packaging? Let’s discuss.
L’Oréal- taking sustainability to the next level
L’Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics company. Along with rigorous research and development for using organic components in its products, the company is also determined to maximize the use of paper in its packaging design.
Seed Phytonutrients, a division of L’Oréal USA has designed shampoo bottles made from recycled, recyclable, and compostable paper. These pump-bottles are waterproof and even the labels are made of paper.
The company realizes that the world recycles over 90% of paper, whereas only about 30% of plastic. Starting with shampoo bottles, the company aims at switching to paper packaging to reduce industrial waste.
Zappos- inspiring packaging reusability
Zappos.com is one of the early age e-commerce retailers founded in the year 1999. The company has a name in its efficient off-the-limits customer service.
To promote reusability, this shoe retailer has introduced a limited-edition #iamnotabox paperboard packaging. The recipient can creatively use the shoe-box for a number of purposes. For instance, the packaging can work as a smartphone holder, a children’s shoe sizer, a small geometric planter or storage bin, and a three-dimensional llama.
With this creative packaging, Zappos is also sending a message of reusability. After all, reusing comes before recycling!
Mcdonald’s- reducing the consumption of single-use plastic
Mcdonald’s, the American fast-food giant transports packaging in more than 37,000 outlets in over 100 countries in the world. Each day McD serves about 69 million people, therefore the company’s endeavor in preferring paper over plastic is worth appreciation.
The company aims to increase the recyclable content in its packaging and that is why it is switching to the paper packaging. In Taiwan alone, the company uses FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified 8500 tons of paper packaging every year.
In 2015, Mcdonalds launched a bag-tray packaging. It was a takeaway paper bag whose upper-brown portion could be removed to use it as a tray. We can see that the company is also taking creative measures to inspire people to use paper-based and recyclable packaging.
In 2016, 64% of Mcdonald’s fiber-based guest packaging came from sustainable sources. The company aims for 100% by 2025. Mcdonald’s is also trying to develop and commercialize recyclable and/or compostable cups.
Apple- cutting logistics cost by smartly using paper packaging
The $229 billion company Apple Inc. has created a closed-loop supply chain for using paper in its packaging. It means the paper for apple products packaging comes from responsibly managed forests and the packaging is completely recyclable.
The company has also reduced packaging size for its products to save logistics costs and reduce overall carbon footprint. Apple replaced polystyrene padding with 100% recycled paper padding in its iMac Pro packaging. The smaller dimensional weight (a metric for calculating the weight and volume of shipment) of the packaging is saving the company’s logistics costs too.
According to Apple’s Paper & Packaging Strategy 2017, cent percent of packaging fibers are sustainably sourced. Apple also regularly audits its packaging suppliers to ensure responsible sourcing of paper.
Amazon- developing ways of frustration-free packaging
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, through its frustration free packaging initiative is giving importance to the paper packaging for long distance transit. The idea is to eliminate hassle at every stage of the packaging lifecycle viz. manufacturing, shipping, unpacking, and recycling. Paper and wood derivatives are the easiest to recycle. Even if the paper packaging is not reaching the recycling destination, they are biodegradable and lay no harmful effect on the environment.
Amazon’s frustration free packaging guidelines include using fewer and environmentally sustainable materials like paper and paperboard in packaging. For this reason, Amazon is partnering with manufacturers to use paper-based packaging material, which should not require additional packaging for shipping. Amazon, originally a marketplace has now started manufacturing under the brand name- Amazon Basics. If you see the products from Amazon Basics, their packaging is mostly paper-based.
On one side, sustainability is attracting manufacturers to choose paper packaging for consumer products, while on the other side, the industrial packaging, which demands product safety is drifting away. This shows both paper packaging advantages and disadvantages.
However, innovations in the paper packaging technology can help meet both the corners. Developing different types of paper packing material for industrial packaging can eliminate plastic to a great extent. The known brands like L’Oreal, Zappos, Mcdonald’s, Apple and Amazon are successfully winning consumers’ sentiments by opting for paper over plastic packaging.