Sustainable packaging – 5 ways YOUR BUSINESS can make better choices

Making sure we all ‘walk the talk’

Bonson takes sustainability seriously and that is why we are taking action to address how we can improve our efforts with this important value in our business. We want to ‘walk the talk’ even stronger and make a real difference to improving the lives of future generations through more sustainable packaging.

Even though we are proud of our eco-operations, commitment to transparency and refusal to participate in ‘green-washing’, we know we can do better and are committed to doing so.

Improving our sustainability efforts is a journey of continuous improvement in our business as we grow our awareness and understanding on this crucial topic. Whilst we’re working on some exciting projects to take another big step towards sustainability, it is equally important that we encourage and support our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals as part of our journey. Making the right choice in sustainable packaging is an important first step and with this in mind, here are 5 areas that we have provided some simple guidance on to empower your decision making…

The big 5 to ensure you are on the right track

1. Get informed

Seek out balanced information on the subject of sustainability. Be careful of ‘green-washing’ – this is where packaging may be presented as more sustainable than it actually is through the use of clever marketing. Some things are not always the way they appear on the surface when you dig deeper. Take compostable packaging products for example; sometimes recycling can be a better option if you do not have access to commercial composting facilities because certain products like lined coffee cups need to be in a compost pile with a temperature of more than 55 degrees to break down, which almost all home composting solutions don’t achieve (according to MINZ).

It is generally accepted that there is no ‘one solution that fits all’ when it comes to packaging options. There are so many factors that need to be considered that are unique to your particular situation – a situation you understand the most. Avoid applying generic information to your packaging decisions without seeking expert, tailored advice from someone who understands your unique requirements.

2. Consider the bigger picture

Packaging sustainability is about much more than materials. It also encompasses lifecycle factors like; where packaging is produced, how it is produced, stored and transported, as well as how it prevents detrimental impacts. One such example is food waste, which is a huge global problem that weighs into discussions on sustainability. Did you know that according to a 2018 study “Quantifying the Value of Packaging as a Strategy to Prevent Food Waste in America,” that cucumbers and bananas stay fresher 11 and 21 days longer when packaged in protective plastic, respectively and therefore has less risk of going to waste? You need to consider economic, social and other impacts like carbon emissions in making decisions on what the right packaging solution is for you.

3. Ask yourself what your business can do every day to help even in a small way

Every action in the right direction, no matter how small, makes a difference. Reduction plays a key role in the sustainability equation. Thinking about how you can minimise wastage in any way, including food waste, and then putting it into action is a good start. If you use products that can be recycled, make sure that they are dealt with correctly in your waste management system. Try and include as much recycled material in your packaging products as practical and possible (e.g. RPET such as our RePlay range). If you can re-use products this will also help minimise new packaging – our BonWare range is robust enough to withstand multiple food uses, including freezer storage. On top of this, the containers can also be used as convenient home storage. Our team like to use Bonware for things like coloured pencils or other stationery items.

4. Create your own sustainability framework

Understand what elements of sustainability are most important to you and develop your own framework to be clear on the improvements you are committed to making. This may include choosing to work with like-minded suppliers and customers who share similar values such as not being part of the ‘green-washing’ movement. Adopt a ‘continuous improvement’ attitude for your own sustainability initiatives and this will ensure that you never become dormant in your actions towards a more sustainable future.

5. Subscribe to our email list

If you are reading this and haven’t already subscribed to our email list, please do if you want to receive more insights and information on sustainable packaging, including updates on our own efforts and what that means to you.