The Rise in Sustainable Packaging

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Now more than ever, businesses and consumers are putting sustainability at the forefront of their decision making

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword; sustainability is here to stay. Consumer awareness of the ‘need to act now’ is fast gaining traction, and businesses have the power to make a real difference in their actions around sustainability.

There are many aspects of sustainability. These are all centred around meeting current needs without compromising future needs. So, what do we mean by sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging is designed with the intent of reducing impact to the environment. This is through choice of materials, the process of manufacturing and what happens with packaging after use.

Mama Dolce founder Jane Visram relishes the opportunity to live out her value of sustainability. In going through the exciting (and at times, testing) process of developing Mama Dolce’s ice cream packaging, there were many factors to consider:

  • Is the packaging fit for purpose? Will it be effective in preserving the product and preventing food wastage?

  • What happens to the packaging after use? Will it be feasible for our customers to recycle or reuse our packing how we intend?

  • How does our manufacturer use sustainable practices? Do their values match our own?

However, being a small business has its challenges. Currently, more environmentally-friendly packaging comes at a significantly higher price. Therefore, preferred options may not be viable on a smaller budget as small businesses need to try and take advantage of economies of scale wherever possible.

So what sustainable solutions are out there?

We caught up with the team at Bagboard, creators of the conscious shopping platform and eco-friendly smart bag, to find out about the great work they’re doing. When developing their bag design, they looked into the existing reusable tote and shopping bags that we’re familiar with. However, cotton production raises many sustainability and ethical concerns from high water usage to labour. To make matters worse, these ‘bags for life’ still end up being thrown out after repeated use.

The solution Bagboard came to? Paper! Now you’re probably wondering how a paper bag is durable enough for repeated use. Well, amazing innovation is taking place in the world of materials. Through the winning combination of Kraft paper and Earth Coating, Bagboard has created robust bags using fully recyclable materials.

What can businesses do?

Ian Brown, CGO at Bagboard, shared with us that one of the biggest challenges facing the UK is the lack of sustainable infrastructure. Huge investment and developments are needed to enable the UK to recycle material and manage its waste effectively.

Legislative change is happening, but very slowly. The Plastic Packaging Tax coming into effect in April 2022, aims to incentivise businesses to use a minimum of 30% recyclable material in their packaging.

Businesses can take their own initiative in making more sustainable decisions. These include:

  • Creating efficient packaging designs that minimise material use

  • Carefully considering their use of secondary packaging

  • Using mono-plastic packaging as opposed to multi-layered flexible packaging

  • Clearly labelling the type of material their packaging is made of so that it can be sorted and recycled correctly

We need to keep the discussion about sustainable packaging rolling and, most importantly, take action where we can. At Mama Dolce, we’re on our own journey towards finding sustainable solutions. We’re determined to continue learning and exploring options so we can do our part for the planet.

How are you taking steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle? Reach out to us on our socials!

free-from, with love x

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