How to Find The Best Sustainable Packaging Printer For Your Product.
June 19, 2019
Incorporating sustainability into your business is important, and perhaps the most crucial strategic step, your company will make. With big brands and retailers making headlines by setting ambitious sustainability goals, and regulations becoming stricter as government initiatives lead to pressure on companies to go green, consumers worldwide think making more sustainable choices is important to their well-being.
We’ve talked with many brand owners who at first believed that the cost of sustainable packaging was too high to be worth the risk of the transition. This is an outdated belief that is costing otherwise solid brands money—customers are switching brand loyalties to support products more in line with their values, and companies are missing out on new and strengthened revenue streams unlocked by sustainable practices.
Imagine sitting at your desk on a Monday morning and finding out your top 3 competitors have gone 100% sustainable with their packaging options. They are expected to see an increase in sales over the next 12 months and consumers are delighted that these brands are seen to be caring for the environment. Now at this point, you’re probably thinking you could easily find a sustainable option for your current design – what your most likely overlooking though, is the challenges associated with this process. Your current supply chain may not be able to provide a suitable solution for your product.
Today, product manufacturers like you have to walk a fine line between package sustainability and quality. You need green packaging that provides a safe barrier from elements like moisture and cold air. You also have to ensure that your packaging is shelf-stable, and that it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap. Historically, at least in the flexible packaging industry, words like “recyclable”, “biodegradable”, “compostable”, and “eco-friendly” have been synonymous with diminished quality. That’s simply no longer the case. So what steps do you need to take to find a suitable sustainable packaging printer?
Internal sustainable processes – going beyond good practices
Find a company that has internal sustainable processes, as well as the offering of sustainable packaging. The beliefs and values of management and employees can significantly influence engagement in sustainable business practices. Before declaring sustainable offerings, a company should evaluate and address its own impact and have a solid plan in place to reduce its environmental impact where necessary.
Sustainability helps businesses create long-term value by taking into consideration how a given organization operates in the ecological, social and economic environment; it’s common sense that you want to work with a company that not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Find a partner that has reliable sustainability credentials like SGP. SGP (Sustainable Green Printing partnership) puts companies through a rigorous process which involves developing and continuously improving an internal sustainability policy, implementing a sustainability management system, ensuring proper documentation procedures are developed and followed, and conducting audits of various aspects of our operations. It requires year-round effort and a firm commitment to constant improvement.
Innovation – think beyond your limits
You need a partner that will help you explore innovative new packaging ideas, sustainability options and even greater cost efficiencies. You’re not limited to what you have done before – a good supplier will help you understand how they produce their products, and how best to produce yours. The best environmentally friendly packaging option for your product is one that is thoroughly tailored to your brand’s unique needs and sustainability goals
Drop Testing and Barriers – ensure your packaging is performing
The value and significance of a drop test simply can’t be ignored. It can reveal insightful data and indicate how durable the item is and may reveal structural weaknesses that are inherent in the design or the manufacturing process. We recently went to Petfood Forum in Kansas City, where we saw various sustainability promotional bags. Excited to see manufacturers putting a focus on sustainability, we conducted our own drop tests to see how well they function when full of kibble. Both side gussets tore almost the length of the bag, and to this day we are still cleaning up the mess! It’s fair to say, this did not pass one of our tests. Find a supplier that has tested and proven products. You can request samples and conduct your own testing to be sure. Let’s be honest, the last thing you need is to spend thousands of dollars for a sustainable product you can’t use!
Graphics – stand out from the crowd!
Good news—you don’t have to compromise on the appearance of your flexible sustainable packaging… if you find the right supplier! Sustainable packaging can still retain the high-quality graphics found in traditional non-recyclable lamination. You need a supplier that has award-winning graphics from a renowned body, for example the FTA (Flexographic Technical Association). One that has a proven portfolio of products that they are willing to show case. Don’t settle for a low DPI, for example 2400 which you will get with traditional printing. Think outside the box and find a supplier who can do the same!
Sustainable packaging is only the beginning at Emmerson Packaging.
We’re fully committed to our green operations and have been recognized for our sustainable initiatives as well as our products. We are the first flexible packaging company in North America to achieve the ISO-14001 designation, we’re a certified SGP printer, and we are constantly identifying new ways to reduce our impact on the environment.
At Emmerson Packaging, we’ve helped major retailers and brand owners adapt to the coming changes and provide a better, greener, and more desirable product to their consumers. We ensure your graphics are jaw-dropping from the first package to the last with our state-of-the-art HD printing technology. Our flexographic printing capabilities ensure 4000 DPI resolution and superior color control and ink lay-down versus traditional press technologies – that’s how we have won 15 prestigious FTA awards.
Our award winning SmartPack™ gives the aesthetics of a lamination with only one, easily-recyclable substrate. While many packaging manufacturers are just beginning to roll out recyclable flexible packaging, we’ve been producing SmartPack™ since 2008, and have sold almost a billion packages, meaning you benefit from the sustainable expertise and cost efficiencies we’ve developed over the past decade.
If your organization is ready to explore sustainable options and go green, get in touch with us and let us see how we can help you meet your goals!