Sustainable Packaging – Is Better Education Required?

An article featured on the website reported on research carried out by Procarton into the level of understanding of sustainable packaging by marketing managers and directors.

(Procarton is the European Association of Carton Manufacturers).

Below we have summarised the article.

Definition of Sustainability

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, sustainability is the idea that goods should be produced in ways that do not use resources that cannot be replaced and that do not damage the environment.

Survey Respondents were Marketing Professionals

51 marketing managers and directors were surveyed. The survey results showed that there was considerable misunderstanding about many aspects of sustainable packaging. On a positive note, all respondents agreed that packaging materials are an important part of the marketing mix.

Key findings of the Sustainable Packaging Knowledge Survey

58% of respondents said cartonboard was an eco-friendly material.

51% of marketing managers and directors thought that flexible plastic packaging was an eco-friendly material. According to Tony Hitchin of Procarton, flexible packaging is neither recyclable or biodegradable.

What does sustainable packaging mean?

The survey respondents were also asked about what they understood sustainable packaging to mean.

55% said it meant using materials that do not deplete the earth’s natural resources

53% said it was about reducing packaging

43% said that ‘light-weighting’ was extremely important in the context of their company’s environmental packaging strategy.

Tony Hitchin commented that there is no point in light-weighting a packaging material if it is not recyclable or biodegradable in the first place. He was encouraged that packaging and marketing decision-makers understood the value of sustainable packaging and saw it as an important part of the marketing mix.

More Education is Required on Sustainable Packaging

However, he says that more education is definitely required on sustainable packaging if we don’t want to further damage the planet because of a lack of proper understanding.

Cartonboard is the Best Choice for a Circular Economy

He concludes by saying that cartonboard is the best choice for brands who want to be part of the circular economy because it is recyclable, biodegradable and from sustainable forests.

Most Important Factors in Packaging Decisions

37% of the marketing professionals responded that the most important factor is the environmental friendliness of the packaging

25% said it is the quality of the packaging

13% said it is the brand value communicated by the packaging

Is Enough Being Done by Stakeholders?

1n 2018, Pro Carton surveyed 1,000 consumers in the UK asking them the above question. 72% of respondents said the pace of change was too slow because brands and retailers weren’t doing enough.

You can read the original article here.

If you need information about any aspect of packaging sustainability, Dollard Packaging can help. Contact us in 01 847 0044 or