Between the widely-known benefits and the many that often go untold, manufacturers are seeing a bigger and bigger case for using recycled packaging. However, it's not always easy being green.
Maybe your business is weighing its options with recycled packaging, maybe you are building the case for how important it is to be eco-friendly, or maybe you are somewhere else on the spectrum of sustainability. Wherever you are in the process, we encourage you to consider the following information tied to the market for recycled materials.
Challenges and Opportunities with Recycling
Simply put, we have some work to do to improve our recycling in the United States. This situation is underscored when our recycling habits are directly related to the availability of recycled packaging materials. Thankfully, we know first-hand how manufacturers can play a pivotal role in leading the market. There are many reasons to do so, too, starting with the needs and opportunities in the market.
Consider the following facts as you explore your next steps.
1. Disproportional Volume of Waste
Even though America only accounts for 5% of the entire world population, consumers in the U.S. generate more waste than any other country in the world.
2. High Rate of Waste
Consumers in the U.S. recycle less than 22% of their discarded materials. Unfortunately, that number is even lower when it comes to recycling plastic bottles.
3. Glass as a Shining Example
We do have some good news: manufacturers can recycle and re-manufacture glass an infinite amount of times and it will never wear out. For many manufacturers, this materializes in a few significant selling points.
Additionally, glass has a high rate of recycling. Industry experts estimate that 80% of glass is recycled into new containers. This is a great indication of recycled packaging's potential.
There is more work to do, however, as more than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in landfills every year.
4. Information is Power
As the previous points illustrate, we have a recycling gap to close and much of it revolves around knowledge and communication.
Many consumers still feel in the dark about what they can recycle. They cite that lack of information as a reason why they pitch items when they are in doubt.
Available information indicates that about 50% of consumers throw items away when they are unsure. About 26% say they look it up before throwing away or recycling it. The next identified block, about 18% of consumers, say they put it in the recycling bin anyway.
We may not be able to summarize what the remaining 6% do with the product, but we know that labels and marketing can play a huge role in overcoming such uncertainties.
Help Consumers, Help the World, Help Your Brand
Recycling brings many benefits to the market, the world, and oftentimes, your business, too. Most commonly, people know recycling because it reduces waste in landfills, preserves resources, and helps protect wildlife. It's true: your business can help reduce stresses to the environment and public health. But we know of even more reasons to opt for recycling and recycled packaging materials.
On a more economic level, you can also save energy and help the economy. You won't need to produce something new from raw natural resources and studies show this choice contributes to the job market, too, as it puts otherwise wasted resources to use. Your brand could be associated with the favorable side of these issues.
As an added positive beyond the feel-good nature of going green, many manufacturers have seen valuable return on investment. Economically, recycled packaging has become less of a burden. In fact, it can actually result in a savings in many instances.
Also, with effective labeling and marketing, your eco-friendly choices can enhance the shelf appeal and usefulness associated with your brand. Consumers are likely to give your product a more favorable response as they see you have an environmental ethic and helpful information about the packaging.
Get the Best Options for Your Recycled Packaging
We can help you incorporate more recycled content into your packaging materials. Whether it is post-consumer resin, post-industrial resin, infinitely-recyclable glass, or any number of eco-friendly solutions, we have the information you need.
Let us know what questions you have. Our packaging specialists will enjoying showing you the many options available along with a custom recommendation that fits your product.