As anyone in the sustainable packaging industry will know, this is one of our biggest challenges. According to Raconteur, 43% of brands have cited cost as one of the greatest obstacles in switching to sustainable packaging. But while these options tend to be more expensive at this moment in time, pricing comes down to supply and demand.
Plastic is currently a cost-efficient solution because it is so abundant. But if sustainable packaging materials are sought-after and at a higher scale of production, the price will decrease. Research by Trivium Packaging has shown that 74% of consumers across the U.S., Europe and South America would pay more for sustainable packaging – with nearly 1/4 of them willing to pay an increase of 10% or more in cost. In Germany, the price of supermarket cheese would increase by just 2 or 3 cents on average using leading sustainable packaging, in line with what these conscious consumers would pay.
The key is therefore to invest in sustainable solutions. For businesses, the cost alone does not ultimately define gains and losses — sustainable solutions can benefit companies, their customers and the environment in lasting, tangible ways.
What’s more, regulations and legislation must be aligned with these same values. We expect regulations to improve and reward sustainability – and for the majority of countries to tax a lack of sustainability in packaging.
With a collective effort to drive the popularity of sustainable options, there is no reason why sustainable packaging must always be the most expensive packaging.