Emmerson Packaging honours a tradition of excellence in craftsmanship and superior service with innovative flexible packaging solutions for your brand. Our mission is to make our customers as successful as possible.
Conventional wisdom has usually said that paper is the more environmentally friendly packaging material. However, there is more to the debate than you might think.
For years there has been the debate on whether paper packaging is better for the environment than plastic. While the general belief is that paper products are more environmentally friendly because they are made from a renewable source, but the argument that paper is more sustainable than plastic is not so straight forward. Some of these misconceptions are due to not considering the entire life cycle of the bag. It is not a simple case of looking at how bags are being disposed of or how long they take to degrade; other aspects also have an impact on the environment.
While paper comes from trees which are a renewable resource, the process of making paper requires a huge amount of energy. Manufacturing paper products produces 3.5 times more greenhouse gases than producing plastic packaging. Harvesting trees also means that there are fewer trees to absorb greenhouse gases. Producing paper bags uses more than 25 times the amount of water consumed in the manufacturing of plastic bags and produces seven times more solid waste.
Technology has advanced dramatically in the past few years, and the thought of plastics going straight to the landfill is now a thing of the past. For example, Emmerson Packaging has an award-winning product called SmartPack™. The process in which this product is manufactured represents a significant breakthrough in packaging reduction and sustainability. It boasts a #2 recyclable symbol, meaning that millions of packages each year can be diverted from landfills into the recycling stream.
Manufacturing paper bags use 3.4 the amount of energy consumed than plastics. Additionally, it is estimated that the current 145 trucks per year needed to manage plastic bags, will escalate to 1,183 trucks per year to manage paper bags. So, when we debate paper vs. plastics, we need to look at the overall impact on the environment.
While plastic packaging can have a bad reputation, banning them and moving solely to paper products could have other adverse effects. In the end, we need to remember the way we use these products to make the greatest difference, not just the bag itself!
The most important decision you can make is to choose packaging that doesn’t end in landfills when it doesn’t have to and to select biodegradable options when recyclable options don’t exist.
Large consumer brands know the advantages of switching to sustainable packaging options. Is your organization part of the growing sustainable elite?
As environmentally sustainable business practices become more of a selling point for consumers, an increasing number of big name brands are taking notice and adopting lofty sustainability goals.
Walmart is Taking The Lead on Sustainability
Walmart has recently emerged as a leader in corporate sustainability with Project Gigaton, a pledge to reduce its CO2 emissions by one gigaton (1 billion tons) by 2030. The ambitious project aims to not only overhaul Walmart’s sustainable business practices but help other organizations do the same. Walmart is offering sustainability training, webinars, and an invitation to join Project Gigaton and set their emission reduction targets.
Walmart’s initiative focuses on several key areas where there is a substantial opportunity for organizations to improve their sustainable business practices. One of the key areas of focus is packaging, where they note, “Designers, manufacturers, and brands have a unique opportunity to help deliver more efficient, innovative, and sustainable packaging.” Walmart has specifically pledged to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging for private label brands by 2025, eliminate non-recyclable packaging in general merchandise packaging by 2020, and include the How2Recycle label on all food products by 2022.
While Walmart’s Project Gigaton is one of the more ambitious and inclusive initiatives, other major brands such as Pepsi, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, and KFC have made sustainable packaging pledges of their own.
With so many major brands committing to sustainable packaging efforts, it should be a signal to every other packed food producer that it’s time to adopt sustainable packaging or be left behind by more forward-thinking organizations. While adopting sustainable packaging solutions is a laudable moral achievement, it is also a savvy business decision. Consumers are shifting their focus to place more value on sustainable products. In fact, 72% of customers are now willing to pay more for products that use sustainable packaging.
Can You Afford Not to Use Sustainable Packaging?
A common misconception with “eco-friendly” or “green” options is that they are too costly compared to the benefits they provide. However, the truth is that consumers’ loyalties are changing to favor organizations that implement sustainable packaging solutions. In fact, a Nielsen Survey showed that 55% of global online consumers across 60 countries said they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive environmental impact.
Sustainable packaging now has a lower overall cost, along with a significant opportunity for increased sales. This is something that big brands have taken note of and are investing in. In many ways, we are seeing a sort of “sustainable arms race” where organizations are scrambling to adapt to shifting consumer demands and government regulations.
What Are Your Sustainable Packaging Options?
Aiding the business case for a sustainable switch is the fact that sustainable packaging options no longer require businesses to choose between premium quality and sustainability, as advancements in technology now allow you to have both. Producers now have a variety of options available to them when it comes to the types of sustainable packaging they can adopt. These options can accomplish two different goals:
Lower the amount of material used in packaging, allowing you to use less film and thus less packaging overall.
Reduce landfill waste by either being recyclable or biodegradable.
“Biodegradable” and “recyclable” are terms that we often hear, but may not have a clear definition of. Recyclable packaging is a product where the materials used in the packaging can be reused to make other products. For example, SmartPack™ sustainable packaging avoids the most common problem with flexible packaging, which happens when it’s made out of two or more materials, making it too difficult or expensive to separate the materials to recycle them.
Instead, SmartPack™ uses a unique energy-curing technology, reducing the number of films needed to produce a package. With nearly 1 billion sold to date, that’s a significant amount of waste that has been diverted from landfills.
Biodegradable packaging, on the other hand, is a packing product that can be easily broken down in a landfill by microorganisms and essentially dissolve, leaving behind only biomass and methane gas. Biodegradable packaging such as the SmartPack-BDG™ offers the best of both worlds as it is also recyclable so consumers don’t need to worry about throwing the packaging in the proper bin for it to sustainably reach the end of its lifecycle.
Building a Sustainability Strategy
Implementing sustainable packaging solutions for your products should be just part of an overall sustainability strategy. Take it from us— Emmerson Packaging is an SPG Certified Printer (the first ever in Canada), but our facilities have also taken more steps to put our best foot forward when it comes to developing sustainable business practices, such as:
Reduced residual solid waste by 87%
Lowered water usage more than 78%
Reduced electricity usage by 41%
Reduced VOC emissions by over 55%
Much like Walmart and their Project Gigaton, we’re committed to helping organizations reduce their environmental impact. We help North American brands implement sustainable solutions with award-winning biodegradable and recyclable packaging for organizations in the frozen food and pet food industries (along with other industries).
Implementing sustainable solutions is also about having a transparent supply chain. With studies showing that 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to brands that are completely transparent, being open about your sustainability efforts is more important than ever. Partnering with an SPG Certified Printer means you have third-party validation that your sustainable packaging meets the highest standards. Which you can proudly display on all your packaging using the SPG logo.
It has been over ten years since the widespread pet food recall that rocked the industry and made manufacturers examine their processes and commitment to improved pet nutrition. This was the launching point for many premium pet food brands, as confused and upset owners looked for alternatives to the brands they had previously entrusted with their pets’ health and safety. Although we haven’t seen a crisis like 2007’s melamine recalls since then, many brands have struggled with earning and keeping consumer trust in an industry that can be overly secretive—mainly because in many cases, there is no legal requirement for it not to be.
Transparency & Pet Food Packaging In 2019 & Beyond
“Transparency” is a major buzzword in the pet food industry heading into 2019. Greater awareness about the kinds of chemical and ingredients we put into our bodies has been a hallmark of this decade so far in general, and concerned pet owners are demanding that pet food manufacturers provide them with more information about what exactly is in their pet food, where it comes from, and what the manufacturing process involves.
Millennials in particular tend to identify transparency throughout the supply chain as being a top factor in their pet food purchasing decisions, and as this age group now represents the largest buying group in pet food, this should matter to manufacturers. They want to be educated about their pet food purchases in the easiest and most immediate way possible—via their pet food packaging.
How Can I Make My Premium Pet Food More Transparent?
What can you, as a pet food producer, do to help gain the trust of your largest potential customer base? There is now more competition than ever before in the pet food market, but we’re still seeing a widespread lack of transparency. This means pet food manufacturers have a golden opportunity to get ahead of the game, but they have to act now. The kind of information you choose to share matters, too—we recently saw a pet food brand try to offer more transparency by telling consumers what wasn’t in their product, but it may not have gone over the way that they hoped. Consumers want to know what you are doing to ensure the safety and optimal health of both their pets and the planet.
Be Transparent With A Certified SGP Packaging Printer
If safety and sustainability are selling points for your premium pet food brand, we can help your packaging reinforce your message of transparency and environmental friendliness. Emmerson Packaging was Canada’s first-ever SGP certified packaging provider, and is among the fewer than 4% of North American packaging manufacturers to achieve this sustainable certification. This means you can incorporate the SGP logo on your packaging at no extra cost, helping you increase your supply chain transparency and really stand out on the shelf from your competition.
Emmerson Packaging also offers recyclable and biodegradable pet food packaging options that never compromise on product safety and shelf stability, nor on premium feel and appearance. Click here to learn more about PetPack-BDG™, our innovative packaging solution for the pet food industry that does all of the above, with the option to add value features such as resealable closures.
What you put in your pet food is up to you, but we can help you convey your message of transparency and sustainability, and back it up with the SGP certification that proves our—and your—commitment to a cleaner, greener, more transparent supply chain. Give your consumers what they want and build genuine brand loyalty.
Emmmerson Packaging Is Your First Stop On The Road To Transparent Pet Food Packaging
Ready to get started? Click here to get in touch with us today. We can provide you with no-obligation information about our innovative and affordable packaging solutions for transparency-conscious pet food manufacturers.
Procurement and supply chain management teams at pet food companies are under more pressure than ever to manage costs and stay competitive in an increasingly overcrowded market. Choosing an overseas pet food packaging supplier can be a tempting option on paper if they’re offering lower costs per unit than a domestic printer. However, cost per unit is often misleading—there are other costs to consider while making this important decision. Here are five reasons to choose a domestic pet food packaging supplier for your next project.
One of the most critical factors in determining a company’s ability to meet its business growth goals is supply chain reliability. Still, buyers are under more pressure than ever to find opportunities to reduce costs throughout the supply chain, and often consider engaging an overseas packaging printer to try to save money. While the cost on paper of buying packaging overseas can be lower, the true cost to your business could be significantly higher. Cutting “good costs” is often not nearly as beneficial to your bottom line as avoiding “bad costs”.
1. Avoiding “Bad Costs”
The initial savings of choosing a cheaper overseas supplier may be erased by higher shipping costs, but this is not always the case. Some producers find that the landed cost of overseas packaging is still less than the cost of domestic packaging.
However, the cost of being late can be much higher when partnering with an overseas supplier. If a printing error is discovered too late, the cost of fixing it and getting it to where you need it on time could be astronomical. Shipping by sea is no longer an option at this point, and bringing over a packaging order by air is several orders of magnitude more expensive. Even worse, you may not get your packaging on time at all and miss a deadline, costing you tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in missed opportunities—a number that will surely be much larger than a 10-15% savings on packaging spend.
2. Avoiding Unpredictability
Many producers simply can’t avoid sourcing supplies or ingredients overseas. However, each global stop on the supply chain adds a layer of complexity and unpredictability to the entire operation. There are geopolitical and logistics considerations to contend with—everything from economic stability to bad weather.
One trend we’ve seen among pet food packaging buyers we’ve worked with is a dramatic increase in the internal effort spent on setting up and determining objectives for the buying committee. A significant amount of work goes into managing unpredictability on the producer’s side and ensuring that many departments are on the same page before finding the right packaging solution. Smart buyers also look to proactively manage unpredictability on the supply side. Choosing a domestic pet food packaging supplier can help to avoid logistics issues that were unforeseen simply due to distance from the supplier.
3. Better Inventory Control
Global sourcing can make inventory management more difficult, especially if you are increasing the size of your minimum order to save money per unit from an overseas supplier. This could increase your merchandise carrying cost or leave you with useless excess inventory if a packaging change is made. It can also make keeping track of your stock more difficult if you’re contending with 30+ day shipping times.
4. Building Stronger Relationships
Your business is built on a foundation of strong relationships. Partnering with a domestic pet food packaging supplier that brings a network of strong industry relationships to the table will better position you for domestic success. A printer with decades of domestic experience has an incredible depth of resources that you as a producer may not even be aware of.
One benefit of building a strong relationship with a domestic supplier who has been working with local producers for a long time is that they can anticipate issues long before they arise, and propose solutions that will be effective for a North American retail environment. Because of their familiarity with the landscape, they’re also more likely to be able to propose innovative solutions that will keep you one step ahead of your competitors.
As an example, our team of packaging experts provides extensive onsite support to many of our clients, and will visit our clients’ facilities in advance to ensure that any chosen films will run well on their machines. This kind of benefit is hard—if not impossible—to get with an overseas supplier.
5. Delivering On The Plan, Not Just The Project
Just about any packaging supplier can ship you the pet food packaging you asked for. It takes an experienced and dedicated packaging partner to deliver on your business plan. We know that pet food producers are searching for new ways to stand out and succeed in a crowded market—there are over 600 pet food brands in the market today with hundreds of new SKUs being launched each year. In order to enable delivery of a business growth plan that will keep you competitive, you can’t be distracted by putting out fires, managing multiple vendors that don’t talk to each other, and dealing with unforeseen errors that could make you late to market. You need a bulletproof supply chain that can reliably deliver on the plan and not just the project.
Don’t just go with the cheapest packaging option. Go with the option that will deliver the most long-term value for your business.
Drinking straws have been making headlines as sustainability groups hold them up as an example of the evils of single-use plastic. Americans alone use (and throw away) more than 500 million plastic straws per day. While straws are just a symptom of a larger unsustainable plastic problem, their ubiquity provides a great opportunity to start a global conversation about alternatives to single-use plastic.
Food packaging is a significant source of single-use packaging. Flexible plastic packaging can have a much smaller environmental impact than rigid plastic packaging, but often still results in a single-use piece of plastic being discarded. Traditional flexible plastic packaging consists of different kinds of plastic laminated together, so it cannot be easily recycled without separating the plastics. Such a process would be expensive and difficult, so most buyers of recyclable materials won’t accept them.
Glass Packaging: A Better Alternative?
Some sustainability advocates recommend choosing glass over plastic packaging like stand up pouches. Glass certainly has environmental benefits—it can be easily recycled and can also be reused indefinitely by the consumer. However, there are also disadvantages to choosing glass, especially as a producer of food products.
First, glass poses a safety risk. Glass is fragile, and a single broken container can contaminate a large amount of product with dangerous glass shards.
Second, glass is not as environmentally friendly to produce as some kinds of flexible plastic packaging. Glass takes much more energy to produce, and the Glass Packaging Institute says that recycling glass takes ⅔ of the energy required to originally produce it. In comparison, plastic only takes 1/10 as much energy to recycle as it does to produce.
Finally, glass is much heavier than plastic, which creates environmental issues in transportation. The vast majority of consumer packaged goods rely on high-carbon-emitting methods of transportation, such as road and air. Goods packaged in lightweight flexible packaging are cheaper to transport, and burn less fossil fuels. You can also fit five to ten times as many units in a single truck.
The Single-Use Plastic Problem (And Our Solution)
Still the plastic problem remains—if single-use plastics are ending up in landfills and oceans, the environmental advantages discussed in this post amount to nothing. Most flexible plastic packaging is still not easily recycled, so consumers are just throwing it in the garbage.
To combat this problem, Emmerson Packaging has developed single-use plastic packaging alternatives that give CPG producers all the benefits of flexible packaging—cost savings to produce, high shelf impact, consumer convenience, and HD flexographic images—without having to contribute to the global plastics problem. Our plastic packaging alternatives are easily recyclable or biodegradable (or both!), so when disposed of properly, they won’t remain in a landfill for hundreds of years or pollute our oceans.
SmartPack-BDG™: Taking Sustainability A Step Further
We didn’t stop at SmartPack™. Recognizing that not all municipalities have recycling programs—and not all consumers choose to recycle—we developed SmartPack-BDG™, our most innovative green product yet. SmartPack-BDG™ is also recyclable as #2, but is biodegradable as well. It biodegrades within active landfill environments, leaving behind harmless biomass and natural gas. SmartPack-BDG™ is completely shelf-stable and highly machinable.
Plastic packaging doesn’t have to be bad for the environment. Choosing sustainable plastic packaging alternatives like SmartPack™ and SmartPack-BDG™ gives producers the best of both worlds: they reap the cost savings and enjoy the green benefits of lightweight plastic packaging, and can offer eco-conscious consumers truly recyclable and biodegradable options that won’t wreak havoc on our planet.
Stand up pouches have quickly risen in popularity as a packaging option for everything from soups to snacks, and their sustainability credentials are well-known. Stand up pouches require fewer resources to produce, and due to their lightweight nature are less costly to transport, creating fewer emissions compared to rigid packaging options. Stand up pouches also take up less space in landfills—but what if they didn’t take up any space at all? Recyclable stand up pouches are an affordable and sustainable way to package your product, and Emmerson Packaging has multiple options available.
Switching To Recyclable Stand Up Pouches From Rigid Packaging
If you’re currently using rigid packaging for your product, transitioning to recyclable stand up pouches offers multiple benefits and opportunities for cost savings. You can fit up to ten times the number of units in a single truck, significantly reducing both distribution costs and harmful emissions. Fewer materials are needed to produce recyclable stand up pouches compared to any kind of rigid packaging, and fewer resources (such as electricity) are used.
Switching To Recyclable Stand Up Pouches From Other Flexible Packaging
Producers who are currently using non-recyclable stand up pouches—or any other kind of non-recyclable flexible packaging—can also benefit from making the switch to a recyclable film. Big brands like Nestle, LEGO, Kraft Heinz, and others have committed to offering 100% recyclable, compostable, or reusable packaging within the next few years, and consumers are looking to other brands to follow suit.
The Nielsen Global Report on Corporate Social Responsibility, which polled 30,000 consumers worldwide, found that 55% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that are “committed to positive social and environmental impact”. Further, 52% of respondents said that that their purchasing decisions are influenced by whether or not it uses sustainable packaging.
This means that the majority of consumers really do care whether or not the products they buy come with sustainable packaging—and they’re willing to switch loyalties to a brand offering that sustainability. Will that brand be yours?
Emmerson Packaging offers two options for recyclable stand up pouches, one of which is also biodegradable. Both options are durable, scuff-resistant, offer the same barrier control you can get from traditional flexible packaging, and can feature brilliant, high-definition flexographic print. You can also choose from a wide range of shapes, structures, and convenience features such as specialty closures.
The award-winning design of SmartPack™ gives you the benefits of a traditional lamination using only one substrate for maximum recyclability as #2. Our innovative VOC-free curing process produces a truly sustainable flexible package with a proprietary protective coating, resulting in a recyclable stand up pouch that maintains the premium look and performance of a non-recyclable lamination.
The biodegradable version of our SmartPack™ bag (also available for pet food as PetPack-BDG™) is also fully recyclable, and will degrade in an active landfill environment—but never on the shelf. It has been tested and validated against ASTM D5511, giving users peace of mind that complete biodegradation will occur, leaving behind no toxic residue. Consumers can enter the SmartPack-BDG™ bag into the recycling stream or simply add it to their household garbage. Either way, the package will meet a sustainable end.
Let Us Help You Explore Your Recyclable Stand Up Pouch Options
Our research and development team can help you transition into a more sustainable packaging option that your consumers will stay loyal to and love. Along with your dedicated Project Central team, they’ll help you find the most cost-effective and high-impact package possible.
It feels like summer has just begun at our headquarters in Amherst, Nova Scotia, but the year’s end has been on everyone’s mind at Emmerson Packaging. Our fiscal year ends on June 30th each year, and we take this opportunity to review our success in achieving our sustainability goals for the year.
We don’t just talk the talk regarding sustainable packaging. Every facet of our operations is regularly examined to find new opportunities to make a positive environmental impact. This is great news for our customers, because they know how important sustainability throughout the supply chain is to their customers. Because of this, we’re proud to share how we achieved our sustainability goals in 2017-2018.
Staying Sustainable With PetPack™, SmartPack™, and SmartPack-BDG™
While not a new initiative, we’re proud to keep leading the pack in sustainable packaging with our innovative, award-winning environmentally friendly options. We offer our customers fully recyclable and biodegradable packaging options that don’t sacrifice quality. SmartPack™ and offers the superior barrier control and ink protection of a traditional lamination. SmartPack-BDG™ and PetPack-BDG™ take sustainability a step further with a shelf-stable biodegradable package.
A Brighter Future With LED
Over the past few years, we’ve been replacing the lights in our facilities with LED lamps—no small task, as we’ve installed well over 3,000 LED lights to date! All of the lamps in our warehouse are now LED, as well as many lights in our production facility and employee and office areas. So far, our energy savings is estimated to be well over $15,000, meaning we’ve used far less energy to light our facilities than with traditional light bulbs.
Working Together For A Cleaner Planet
We planned and hosted our second annual “Clean Up The Park” event on Earth Day this year. Along with three other local companies, we collected and properly disposed of 580 lbs of garbage from our area.
Additionally, a group of our pet-loving employees spent a Saturday afternoon in June lending a hand at our local animal shelter by painting and fixing up a few things around the compound. We’re proud that our crew loves animals so much that they volunteered their Saturday!
Giving Back To The Community
This past fiscal year, we raised and donated a total of $5,600 to various charities through employee initiatives. We are currently working on the creation of a larger company-wide program to further support charitable organizations and promote volunteering within our community.
Our Sustainable Stats
We’ve been tracking our usage of basic materials and utilities for the past 18 years to asses our environmental impact, and from year to year we continue to trend in a greener direction. Compared to the year 2015, in 2017-2018 we:
There is a reason why brands are ditching rigid packaging and turning to flexible stand up pouches to better promote, protect, and drive sales of their products—in fact, there are eight. From production to purchase, stand up pouches offer multiple benefits to both manufacturers and consumers. Here are the eight advantages of stand up pouches our customers enjoy the most:
Flexographic printing for flexible packages is the most versatile of all package printing options, and can create stunning HD graphics for your stand up pouch. Flexographic printing offers the most precise ink control and solid lay-down on a wide range of films. In combination with this advanced printing technology, stand up pouches can offer your product the best, most eye-catching graphics on the shelf.
Shape & Structure
Stand up pouches can be produced in a variety of shapes and sizes. Consumers are most familiar with the standard pouch—a round-bottom-gusset bag that folds flat when empty. Other options include box pouches, K-sealed, quad-sealed (two side gussets and four vertical seals), and more. Stand up pouches can even be die cut into custom shapes to really stand out on the shelf.
Switching to stand up pouches (and flexible packaging in general) is a no-brainer if you’re looking to reduce the cost of materials. Rigid packaging costs three to six times more per unit than flexible packaging. Printed folding cartons cost around twice as much as flexible packaging. Simply put, choosing stand up pouches over a rigid alternative will mean much-improved profit margins for your business.
Transportation & Warehousing
Stand up pouches also offer significant cost savings in distribution. Depending on the pouch and the original packaging solution, you can fit five to ten times the number of units in a single truck using fewer pallets. Since the packaging is also lighter, the fuel cost per truck is lower. You can store more of your product in less space, and it takes less time and labor to move it around.
Consumers value convenience, so you can add value to your brand with stand up pouch features. Resealable closures help extend the life of food and create a better customer experience with your product. You can choose from press-to-close, zip lock, or hook-to-hook closures to add convenience to your pouch. You can also choose laser perforation, transparent windows, handles, and spouts. Stand up pouches can also be made steamable, so consumers can enjoy the added convenience of preparing their food in the microwave without having to remove it from the bag.
Stand up pouches can keep food fresher for longer, and provide excellent barrier control to protect against the elements. Puncture-resistant films can be used to safeguard your products during transport, and a number of specialty films can provide extra protection against moisture, contaminants, UV rays, and more.
With a wide ranges of shapes and sizes available and stunning HD graphic capabilities, stand up pouches easily stand out on the shelf. The biggest benefit of stand up pouches in terms of shelf impact is simply the amount of real estate manufacturers now have to work with—the largest printable surface of the package stands up and faces the customer. This allows your product to compete in ways that products in lay-down bags and smaller rigid containers can’t.
Stand up pouches are better for the environment. Flexible packaging in general uses fewer materials and less energy and water to make, and fewer volatile organic compounds are produced as a result. In addition to cost savings, their lighter weight and more compact size save on fuel emissions during transportation. Any non-recyclable materials used take up less space in landfills than their rigid counterparts. Stand-up pouches can also be recyclable or biodegradable without compromising on safety and quality, using innovative SmartPack™ and SmartPack-BDG™ technology.
Smaller brands may not get the press attention these huge corporations can command, but many have led the way in adopting more sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. Even if they don’t make international headlines, consumers are noticing—they’re the ones driving the change in the first place. The 2014 Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, which polled more than 30,000 consumers in 6 countries, determined that more than half of respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable products. It also noted that a year-over-year analysis revealed an average annual sales lift between 2%-5% for products with sustainability claims on the packaging and/or in marketing materials.
Why Are Smart Brands Setting Lofty Sustainability Goals?
Smart brands both big and small are getting ahead of the environmentally friendly packaging trend for a few reasons. Perhaps most importantly, it has became a major competitive differentiator. As food and pet food categories become more crowded, gaining a competitive edge has become more difficult. Sustainability is a top concern, especially for the Millennial buying group, which commands a large (and growing) share of the market.
Secondly, it makes good financial sense. Many brands are hesitant to “go green” because of perceived increased costs. However, the most successful brands are looking at a sustainability shift as an opportunity to make improvements throughout the entire supply chain and optimize a number of processes. Viewing such a shift through the lens of opportunity lets brands find a solution that truly benefits themselves and their customers, rather than scrambling to find a cost-effective solution ahead of future regulatory changes.
Finally, myths about environmentally friendly packaging are being dispelled by better education and real-life proof of quality. Not all recyclable or biodegradable films are created equal, but some options—like SmartPack™, SmartPack-BDG™, and PetPackBDG™—offer superior barrier control, ink lay-down, machinability, and product freshness, so that brands never have to compromise on quality to reach their sustainability goals.
How Can My Brand Set And Reach Its Sustainability Goals?
The best environmentally friendly packaging option for your product is one that is thoroughly tailored to your brand’s unique needs and sustainability goals. At Emmerson Packaging, we’ve helped frozen food and pet food brands adapt to the coming changes and provide a better, greener, and more desirable product to their consumers.
The environmentally friendly benefits of purchasing frozen food are somewhat negated, of course, if the food’s plastic packaging ends up in a landfill. Fortunately, advancements in flexible packaging technology have given producers a range of new options for environmentally friendly frozen food packaging.
Traditional Frozen Food Packaging
Older forms of frozen food packaging are not environmentally friendly—they often consist of multiple materials that end up in landfills. Bag-in-box, lay-down pillow packs, or rigid trays are only partially recyclable or not recyclable at all. The bulkier forms of frozen food packaging also take up more room in transport, requiring more fuel consumption to move them from plant to warehouse to grocery shelf.
Eco-Friendly Frozen Food Packaging: Enter The Stand-Up Pouch
Stand up pouches have multiple advantages over traditional frozen food packaging. They make better use of available retail space by presenting a much larger customer-facing graphic panel, and are much lighter than traditional rigid packaging—making them easier and less expensive to transport.
Stand up pouches also require less film to produce than other types of packaging bags. This helps to reduce the overall environmental impact of the product.
Still, many types of stand up pouches end up in the landfill as laminated packages are comprised of multiple substrates, some of which are not recyclable. Separating these layers is not practical, so the whole package gets thrown in the garbage.
Recyclable Frozen Food Packaging
Emmerson Packaging helped lead the way in developing a truly recyclable frozen food package with the introduction of SmartPack™. This sustainable option provides the premium look and performance of a traditional laminate, but uses innovative energy-curing technology to reduce the number of films needed to produce the package. SmartPack™ carries a #2 or #4 recyclability rating, making it fully recyclable in most North American municipalities.
Biodegradable Frozen Food Packaging
Emmerson Packaging took environmentally friendly frozen food packaging a step further with SmartPack-BDG™. This innovative sustainable package option is fully biodegradable, so customers can dispose of it in their household garbage. Producers love that it’s fully shelf stable and only begins to degrade in an active landfill environment, giving them the barrier control they need to succeed in frozen foods and keep their customers safe.
Even better, SmartPack-BDG™ is also fully recyclable, so customers can choose how they would prefer to dispose of the package at its end-of-life.
Conveying The Sustainable Message With Frozen Food Packaging
Our environmentally friendly frozen food packaging options use the latest technology developed and designed by our Innovation Department, and never sacrifice quality or safety to meet sustainability goals.
Does your brand need a sustainability shift to keep up with recent growth in the frozen food category? Download our free Frozen Food Packaging Capabilities Guide right now to learn more about the environmentally friendly frozen food packaging options highlighted in this post, along with our award-winning approach to graphic and functional design.