Green Business Bureau Blog


Green Product Packaging Trends


In a study conducted by Ipsos Marketing, it states that “global consumers have readjusted their priorities regarding food products.” Consumers prefer products that offer increased health benefits, fresher ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging.

There was a time that food is bought without any regard to how it is packaged. But competition demanded product manufacturers to include presentation to attract customers to buy. In fact, manufacturers claim that sometimes the cost of producing the package is greater than the actual cost of the product. Packaging ensures that food is delivered in a clean and fresh manner. It plays an important role in influencing consumers to buy the product.

But environmentalist has long advocated for companies to go green in presenting their product to consumers. Packaging constitutes a great deal of household solid wastes. Research indicates that these wastes represent about one third of municipal waste in the United States. Landfills are in a crisis and thus, unnecessary wastes need to be eliminated. Fast-food Styrofoam and aseptic packaging are just two of the most problematic packaging wastes.

Some business owners recognize the need for green packaging. Here are some branded products and establishments that define a new meaning for green marketing strategy.


Wal-Mart has developed a 5 year plan to promote compulsory compliance on green packaging in line with its goal to save 667,000 metric tons of CO2 and 66.7 million gallons of fuel. The program started on 2006 when Wal-Mart introduced a packaging scorecard to be used by its 2000 private label suppliers in gauging information about product’s use of sustainable packaging materials. Sustainable packaging is defined by Wikipedia as the “increased use of life cycle inventory and life cycle assessment to help guide the use of packaging which reduces the environmental impact and ecological footprint.” The scorecard rating results will be the basis of Wal-Mart in prioritizing bids of suppliers. It will also provide buyers with sufficient information on the environmental effects of products they will buy. The scorecard was implemented to its 60,000 suppliers worldwide to meet their 5% overall reduction in packaging by 2013.

Dell, Apple and HP

In its commitment to become the greenest technology company, Dell replaced its paper and cardboard packaging to renewable pulp and recycled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) more commonly used in plastic bottles. Recycled milk jugs will replace Styrofoam packaging. By 2012, the company aims to reduce its materials usage totaling 20 million pounds which is said to save 150,000 trees.

After Greenpeace scrutiny of Apple’s iPhone which contains toxic brominated compounds, Apple has redeemed itself by launching iPhone 3G packaged in green materials. Apple has purchased millions of paper starch paper trays to switch to green packaging. Apple has reduced its carbon footprint by 90% in plastic use and trays made out of Styrofoam.

HP’s print cartridge comes with a smaller and lighter packaging with recycled content. HP said that this green effort have cut 15 million pounds of materials, majority of which is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic in the year 2007. HP has instituted green practices since 2003 when it reduced 80%of the overall package weight of its inkjet cartridge multipacks. Overall, the company estimates to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by 37 million pounds inclusive of transportation and shipment reduction.

There are a lot of companies that have taken a significant stance in green practices through product packaging. In the food business, Marks Spencer claims to have reduced food packaging by 18% while Whole Foods uses Sealed Air’s Renew-A-Pak compostable bake ware made out of 100% recyclable materials among others.

Indeed, green packaging is a key indicator of a company’s commitment to environmental concerns.


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