The packaging of the future | The Independent Business News

Trace One is a Business Reporter client

According to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the amount of plastic waste has doubled globally since 2000, with 353 million tonnes produced in 2019 alone. Concernley, only 9 percent of this is currently recycled. .

A separate study by the Environmental Investigation Agency suggests the threat posed by plastic pollution is as great as that of climate change, warning that by 2040 some 70 million tonnes of plastic will be in the rivers and oceans of the world. world.

The packaging produced by companies is a major contributing factor – and one that all organizations will need to master. In the EU, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive has set firm targets for 70% of all packaging to be recycled by 2030, of which 55% is plastic. Other countries, including France and Spain, have taken steps to completely ban the use of plastic on specific products.

Charlotte Le Coz is Head of Product Marketing at software company Trace One, the world’s largest collaborative retail commerce platform for consumer packaged goods. She says legislation is a factor pushing more organizations to assess their packaging requirements and take action to improve the environmental impact they have. “The deadline is very tight and it will come very quickly,” she said. “Companies need to think about it now. The other driver is customer expectations, as it is now common for consumers to ask a lot more questions about packaging. »

However, knowing where to start is not easy, and the subject is more complex than it first appears. “Consumers don’t always have all the information they need to ask the right questions,” says Le Coz. “They can make it seem like plastic is the bad guy, but some plastics might be fully recyclable and might be better than complex packaging with multiple components that can’t be recycled.”

It is also not straightforward to simply replace a particular piece of packaging, as any method must also ensure the protection of a product, such as food. “You need to know that your product will be safe, so something like paper may not be suitable for some products,” Le Coz points out. “You will also need studies to determine the impact this will have on your production. You may need to change machinery or adapt production lines.

The first step in any process of evaluating and improving packaging options is to determine where the business is today. “You need to take an inventory of your entire product portfolio,” says Le Coz. “If you don’t have packaging experts in your industry, you can use the regulations first, because you’ll have to comply. After that, you can determine what you can do to change things. Trace One’s packaging management software helps companies quickly identify products with materials that need to be improved or eliminated for greener packaging.

Identifying where to apply initial attention is an important next step. “Focus on the quick actions that will give you the best return on investment,” she advises. “You might be better off focusing on changing the packaging of a product that you sell a lot initially, because in terms of the tons of material on the market, that could have a real impact. Then you can look at areas where you might have more complex packaging but where you don’t have a lot of sales. Practical steps could include changing the size of a product, replacing a particular component in the packaging design, or identifying an entirely new method to protect products.

For most retailers or manufacturers, this will mean working closely with suppliers and even supplier packaging suppliers. “Often retailers want to make changes, but they can’t do it if the supplier isn’t ready,” Le Coz points out. “We work a lot with the supplier community to help them understand what is expected of them and how they can engage with their own packaging suppliers.” This will create a virtuous circle, creating a community of committed retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and packaging providers who have all agreed to meet certain local and international standards and guidelines.

Being able to measure the impact of any strategy is also essential and can help organizations communicate their results to customers, as well as investors and other stakeholders. “They can show how many tonnes of plastic they’ve reduced or a percentage improvement over the year,” says Le Coz. The Trace One dashboard can help demonstrate this.

Acting now, before new regulations mean there is no choice, can be used to improve a business’s reputation as well as win customers, especially among younger age groups. “Younger consumers are very focused on packaging, so the more you can do in this space, the better,” concludes Le Coz. “Acting early will give you an advantage over…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-06 10:39:16

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