We have all seen the heartbreaking images of oceans littered with plastic debris and suffering marine life. Despite this, the amount of plastic manufactured continues to grow. Plastics Europe reported that global plastics production reached nearly 360 million metric tons in 2018, up from 348 million in 2017. In less than three decades, there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish if current trends continue, according to the World Counts. Currently, the oceans’ currents have created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is four times the size of Germany, weighs equivalent to 10 Eiffel Towers, and contains 1.8 trillion plastic pieces! And to make it worse, the equivalent of a truckload of plastic is dumped into the ocean every single minute. It doesn’t get scarier than that!
Of course, it doesn’t have to end this way. Alternatives for plastics are available, and consumers are ready to support companies that use environmentally friendly materials. One change that can be made is to replace less environmentally friendly packaging and displays with corrugated board.
Consumers are speaking with dollars. The millennial generation wants packaging that supports sustainable practices, such as being recyclable, made with renewable materials, biodegradable, compostable, or plant-based, according to The EcoFocus Trends Survey. The focus on long-term sustainable solutions could be a packaging game changer, they said. Millennials don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk and spend money doing it. A Neilson study found that 75 percent of millennials are altering buying habits based on what is better for the environment. And it isn’t just the millennials that are willing to pay. A 2020 McKinsey survey showed 60 to 70 percent of consumers, in general, said they would pay more for sustainable packaging.
The good news is brands realize the advantages. A 2018 survey revealed 40% of brand owners made a change toward sustainable packaging, and the majority of brand owners plan to move some packaging toward sustainable options in the future.
First, we need to define sustainable packaging. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) provides the following criteria as an outline for specific actions required to develop a sustainable packaging system.
When you look at the elements that are specific to the material itself, corrugated is inherently sustainable. Plastic is made from non-sustainable oil or gas, has a low recycling rate (8.7 percent in 2018), and doesn’t break down, so it isn’t compostable. On the other hand, corrugated is made from trees of sustainably managed forests, has a very high recycling rate (96.5 percent in 2018), and can be composted.
If you drive through many American neighborhoods, you will likely see plastic lawn signs – promoting businesses working with the homeowner, selling homes, supporting politicians, and more. Additionally, you may see plastic signs being used in produce or freezer aisles, garden stores, breweries, and other places with environments where regular corrugated may degrade. These plastic signs all eventually end up in landfills.
Luckily, there is an alternative to plastic when you need a sustainable material and can hold up in varying environments. MAKO-BOARD™ is a 100% recyclable, premium paper board for indoor applications exposed to hot, cold, moist, and wet environments and is also suitable for temporary outdoor signs. MAKO-BOARD has many environmentally friendly characteristics, including:
In addition, it is smooth with no fluting, so it offers superb printability. It is also 50% stiffer than foam PVC and won’t crack, shatter, fade or disintegrate in its 12-week lifespan.
If you need a dedicated partner to produce sustainable solutions, Dusobox is the choice of many. We not only design and produce aesthetically impactful and functionally superb custom corrugated packaging, displays, and sign programs, but we also invest in innovative and robust environmentally responsible materials. We are focused on improving our environmental performance as an integral and fundamental part of our business strategy and operating methods.
We recycle over 20 tons daily and invests in environmentally responsible materials and technology, such as MAKO-BOARD and printing technology using food-safe inks and HP link® technology.
Contact us to learn more.