Demands for Greener products prompts changes in print industry

The environment and sustainability are consistently key themes in the news and are finally becoming mainstream. Increasingly environmental pressure is coming from young people, initially spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, and global trends are pushing towards a more responsible lifestyle generally. Businesses are having to adapt and change in response to customer demand and one of these changes is in packaging which in turn is having an effect on both manufacturers and the print industry itself. 

Research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing showed that if brands don’t adopt more sustainable packaging practices. Increasingly a company’s ethics are judged by its packaging and crucially, consumers are indicating that they will pay more for an item which is packaged sustainably – 74% of them according to a survey in 2020 by McKinsey. Online ordering shows no signs of decline and so packaging is a vital part of the sales chain. 

Of course, the whole branding area is impacted by this and so it is vital to show off your sustainable packaging materials visibly while staying true to your brand values. If consumers don’t know that they’re sustainable, it’s no different from the plastic packaging sitting next to it. Put it in big letters, add a large sticker, or use earth-tones in your design to show off how “green” your packaging is.

The implications for manufacturers and for print companies are evident. The onus is on them to take what consumers are telling them and fully embrace sustainable strategies. Manufacturers will have to cut out excess packaging and change the type of packaging they have traditionally used, moving away from plastics (or at least using recycled plastic) and towards greener options. Print companies will have to demonstrate sustainability throughout their processes as well as in the materials that they use.

Some of the changes are obvious – using recycled paper or paper from sustainable sources and using uncoated rather than coated stock. It is important to look at the entire print process to ensure every element is as environmentally friendly as possible. Installing sustainable printing equipment is another step many companies are looking at. It’s expensive in the short term but a cost-effective solution in the long run being optimised for waste reduction and using less energy, thus reducing printing costs. This is where GRENKE can help, we have the experience in the print industry to identify the best financing solutions for you. It’s so important to move quickly and not fall behind competitors. We can help you do this securely, without risk.  
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