Pressure Builds on Brands to Shift Packaging Away from Plastics to More Recyclable Alternatives

A growing plastic packaging waste stream is taking its toll on the environment. The scope of the problem is mind boggling considering that humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic waste every year, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Much of this waste is attributed to single-use packaging – the bulk of which reaches the market via consumer goods companies and grocery retailers according to a new report by environmental law charity Client Earth. Rising concerns about plastic packaging littering the environment, clogging the oceans and threatening aquatic life are putting pressure on brands to shift to more sustainable, recyclable packaging.

More than 40% of all plastic made is packaging used only once or twice before being thrown away. Of the 14.5 million tons of plastic containers and packaging generated in the U.S. in 2018, just 8.7% of those plastics were recycled, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about plastic packaging waste and are taking steps to do their part in addressing the problem. According to an ongoing study by market research firm AMC Global, 73% of Americans are personally trying to reduce the purchase and use of products sold in plastic packaging. The study also found that 70% of consumers believe the most important characteristic of plastic packaging alternatives is recyclability.

While consumers are doing their part to stem the tide of plastic waste, they hold brands responsible for contributing to plastic pollution. A poll conducted by AdWeek and Morning Consult found that 77% of respondents believe it is the responsibility of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to ensure that their products and packaging are recyclable and do not contribute to pollution. The poll also found that a majority of respondents (62%) believe companies should be doing more to ensure their packaging is recyclable and minimize their impact on the environment.

Sustainable packaging innovations are being developed to help brands make the shift away from plastics. Some of these innovations include edible packaging made of natural, biodegradable, plant-based materials and even packaging made out of popcorn.

Along with these and other innovations the reusable, recyclable glass jar is considered an excellent alternative to plastic packaging. Consumers prefer glass packaging as a more environmentally friendly option that is easy to clean and reuse.

Products packaged in jars sealed with CCT’s EEASY Lid meet consumer preferences for products packaged in recycled materials. Made out of aluminum – one of the most recycled and recyclable materials on the planet – EEASY Lid helps brands prioritize packaging with sustainable content to build consumer trust, satisfaction and loyalty.

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