The importance of eco-friendly packaging has been steadily gaining traction over recent years, largely due to the growing awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on the environment. A study by Fortune Business Insights reports that the global sustainable packaging market size had hit US$258.25 billion back in 2020, with this figure estimated to grow to US$385.34 billion by 2028.
Business owners in Malaysia can easily do their part to reduce plastic pollution by using eco-friendly packaging when shipping products internationally. Not only will this be good for the environment, but doing so can also reflect positively on one’s brand and business.
Aside from supporting sustainability, there are also numerous benefits to using eco-friendly packaging when shipping products internationally:
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to consumers. As mentioned earlier, the issue of sustainability has been gaining traction over recent years as people have become more aware of the negative impacts of plastic pollution. A global study by IBM reveals that 50% of consumers in 2021 were willing to pay more for sustainable products and sustainable brands. The same study reports that 49% of consumers in 2022 have already paid a premium averaging 59% for products branded as eco-friendly or socially responsible over the past 12 months. Business owners in Malaysia that meet this shift in consumer demands via their packaging practices can expect to reap returns while keeping themselves relevant in their respective industries as global demand shifts towards sustainable-conscious consumption.
Using environmentally-friendly packaging can also help businesses in Malaysia save money in the long run. While eco-friendly packaging may cost slightly more upfront, sustainable packaging materials tend to be more durable and usually have a longer lifespan. This means that they can be used multiple times, which reduces the need for businesses to keep purchasing new packaging materials if they work creatively to incentivise their customer base to return these materials after receiving their products. Companies such as Tapauware and The Body Shop have already successfully implemented circularity into their products and packaging for food and cosmetics.
Using eco-friendly packaging materials can also improve the brand image of a company. As consumers become more conscious of sustainability, they are increasingly looking to support businesses that share their values. Therefore, by using eco packaging, businesses in Malaysia can improve their brand image and reputation. This can lead to more customers being interested in purchasing from the business, as well as improved customer retention rates.
More and more businesses are incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into their operations, and using eco-friendly packaging is one way for businesses to easily fulfil their duties in this regard. By using sustainable packaging materials, businesses can show that they care about environmental issues and are committed to making a positive impact.
It is a common misconception that adopting sustainable practices in business can only be afforded by larger companies. This is far from the truth, and small businesses in Malaysia can also look to reap the benefits of using eco-friendly packaging when shipping internationally.
There are many ways for small businesses in Malaysia to adopt sustainable packaging practices, with some methods being easier than others depending on your organisation’s specific circumstances. The most important thing here is to be proactive and find what works best for your company. Here are some simple ways smaller companies can use to get started:
Use recycled materials — one way to make your packaging more sustainable is to use recycled materials. This includes using recycled paper, cardboard, plastic and glass. You can also use recycled office supplies such as printer cartridges and toner cartridges. This is a great way to reduce the amount of waste your company produces, and it also sends a message to your customers that you are committed to sustainability.
Use biodegradable materials — another way to make your packaging more sustainable is to use compostable materials. This means using materials that will decompose naturally over time. Some examples of biodegradable materials include bamboo, hemp, jute, and corn starch.
Use less packaging — one of the simplest ways to make your packaging more sustainable is to use less of it. This means using smaller boxes and bags, and avoiding unnecessary packaging such as bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts. You can also ship items in used boxes and packaging materials, allowing for not just reduction in waste but also in expenses.
Use reusable packaging — another way to make your packaging more sustainable is to use reusable packaging. This means using packaging that can be used multiple times, such as reusable bags, containers, and bottles. You can also encourage your customers to return their packaging after they have received their products. This is a great way to not only reduce waste but also build up customer loyalty.
Educate your employees — finally, it is important to educate your employees about the importance of sustainability. This will help them understand why you are making changes to your packaging, and it will also help them be more conscientious about the environment. You can provide training on sustainability, or you can simply post information about eco-friendly practices in your workplace
Adopting eco-friendly packaging is a great way for small businesses in Malaysia to show their commitment to sustainability and enjoy the business benefits of doing so just as their larger competitors do. By using recycled materials, biodegradable materials, less packaging and reusable packaging, smaller businesses can easily make a positive impact on the environment while creating positive change that garners growth for the company.
Learn more ways to adopt sustainable practices for your business and play your part today!