Going Green With Cardboard?

Green-minded consumers are probably some of the most alert people in the market. Their strong beliefs about protecting the environment energize them to be constantly vigilant for bad choices by companies.

The desire to access that market and satisfy its members has spurred many firms to improve their input choices and production processes to be more environmentally sound.

But these sharp-eyed consumers know that while it’s important for goods to be produced in a green way, they must also be marketed, transported, and packaged in the most ecological way possible as well.

Like any challenge, this is an opportunity as well. The firm that is seen as working to be environmentally friendly in all aspects of production and sales is the firm that gets a huge boost from green consumers.

One of the most obvious ways that many companies implode as far as going and staying green is with packaging.

Buyers are not fooled by a product claiming recycled content that hits the shelves in a package made of plastics or other new material.

Corrugated boxes, on the other hand, are the most sustainable, eco-friendly packaging material available. The average corrugated box is made from 43% recycled fiber, and 85% of corrugated board produced is recycled and used again.

When firms buy corrugated boxes and utilize them for packaging their goods, they can win in several ways in two broad areas: Profitability and environmental impact.

Saving Money on Inputs

Plastic pushed to the front of the pack back when oil was cheap and clear packaging was exciting.

Now the material is so entrenched in our marketing consciousness that we might not realize that better options exist.

Oil has gone through the roof in the last ten years. The impact on the plastic market hasn’t been devastating, but quietly hiding behind the latest from OPEC has been improved recycling technology that is keeping a great deal of cardboard from requiring new timber harvests for production.

Has a change in the cost of plastic escaped your attention? Was it so built into your marketing system that it was just considered an unavoidable expense?

That may no longer be the case. The cardboard industry is continuously improving their production costs with recycled material, making them ever more competitive with the tried and true.

The improvement in cost of cardboard vs. plastic should capture the attention of those watching your bottom line.

And what product packaged in plastic is shipped in plastic as well? There is a redundancy in packaging it for retail and then having to place that package in another package.

Novel Marketing

Cyber Monday and all forms of e-commerce have increased the need for goods to look marketable in a shipping form.

Firms are successful when their products arrive at the consumer’s home in a package that could actually just get a bow and go under the tree.

Imagine the PR boost from a product that doesn’t just use recycled packaging but also bypasses wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue papers. Order a box with a preprinted gift label and you don’t even need a tiny piece of paper for “To” and “From”.

From a marketing perspective and an economics perspective, corrugated cardboard is a lower-cost, lower-waste, and higher-green value product than many current options. Investigating it as a permanent system is proving profitable for many firms.