Sustainable petfood packaging: much more than a trend
If packaging waste really equates to profit waste, how are petfood manufacturers reducing, recycling and reusing for the benefit of the company and consumers alike?
By now, sustainablity should be somewhere near the top of your list of important priorities for your petfood brand. Not only do consumers look for "green" aspects of products on the shelf like ingredient sourcing, environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes and recycled packaging materials, but a sustainable plan for your company means savings for you. Though some "greening" campaigns may be nothing more than a trend in an adapting market, sustainable packaging isn't going anywhere but everywhere, and fast. What is sustainable packaging, and which companies are making the most strides in meeting consumer demands for it?
According to Paul Kearns, director of sustainability for Exopack, a truly sustainable petfood package must focus on what Walmart calls the 7 R's. He defines these as follows:
- Remove means to take something away from the packaging, such as removing a box from a bag in box format.
- Reduce means to reduce the amount of material required for the packaging, either by size or gauge.
- Reuse is implying reuse in the same packaging application. This one is difficult to implement for most primary packaging but a ripe opportunity for pallets and shippers.
- Renew(ables) means to use certified renewable sources that are, in theory, infinite. It also applies to using biodegradable materials that, in theory, can be used to regenerate renewable materials.
- Recycle(ables),like renewables, is a cyclic concept. Using recycled materials reduces the demand for virgin feedstocks and designing packaging for recycling provides the recycled materials for reuse.