In recent years, companies have shifted their focus toward a future of sustainability in an effort to mitigate climate change and pollution. The packaging industry is no exception. There is an urgency to meet both consumer demands and environmental benchmarks, shown in a move away from traditional plastics and in sourcing more alternative materials for both branded and private label products.
And there are a range of material options that retailers with private label brands and suppliers of private label products are looking to test — some of which are as creative as sourcing material from seaweed, hemp and corn. However, as companies test packaging with these more eco-friendly options, the industry is learning what could be a realistic fit or not.
“We see biodegradable plastics made out of corn or seaweed, recycled plastics mixed with biodegradable elements, aluminum, cardboard and glass options,” said Jordan Erskine, president and co-founder of Dynamic Blending Specialists. “There are pros and cons to each material, and not every sustainable packaging solution is a good fit for every product."
Currently, biodegradable plastics are still expensive and the options are limited. It’s still a kind of niche industry, but as more and more brands adopt these kinds of solutions, you will see prices start to drop and options increase.”
Erskine said that Dynamic Blending, a Vineyard, Utah- based manufacturing company that creates both private label and contract manufactured personal care products, is look- ing to move away from traditional plastic, and toward new solutions for its customers.
“This is one reason we are investing heavily in aluminum packaging equipment and offering price breaks on aluminum packaging,” said Erskine. “The cosmetics and beauty industry uses primarily plastic packaging. This needs to change. When we have clients ask for sustainable packaging, we first ask, ‘Why are you doing it? Why do you need it? Why would it matter? Is it important to you or your customers? The answers to these questions make a difference in how we move forward.”