Last week, Unilever announced that it is aiming to make all of its packaging fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. It seems more than ever, forces are in place to make the packaging industry green.

Unilever is one of the 10 companies that control almost all the food and beverage brands out there. It owns brands such as Knorr, Lipton, Salada, Becel and Slimfast, among many others.

Shareholders making the packaging industry green

Of course, it isn’t just big companies that are putting pressure on the industry. In some cases, big company shareholders are being convinced by environmentalists to change things from within.  This has been the case with Mondelez (once Kraft Foods, owner of Oreo, Cadbury and Milka), another massive food producer. A shareholder lobby group called As You Sow has been pushing to get Mondelez to produce a report about the recyclability of their products, and make them take bigger steps towards sustainability.

Consumers pushing for change

Studies have also shown that consumers’ expectations are not only rising on the eco-responsibility issue, but their preferences are directly affecting sales. Here are some results from a study by EcoFocus on healthy beverage shoppers :

  • 55% have avoided purchasing products from companies when they learned that they did not have environmentally responsible practices
  • 60% have avoided purchasing products from companies when they learned that they did not have socially responsible practices
  • 86% believe that little changes they can make, can add up to big things for the environment

Film manufacturer for major change

Another recent positive development is that certain big packaging makers are moving in on this industry change for profit. This will potentially help the packaging industry get greener, faster.

Dow Chemicals recently launched a recyclable PE film that allows packaging producers to recycle a previously unrecyclable category of packaging: flexible pouches. The Dow film contains several layers, which is typical of flexible packaging, but with the difference that that all layers are made exclusively out of PE, enabling it to be recycled in a PE recycling stream.

Here at IMS we also take the environment seriously. We have access to eco-friendly packaging solutions such as recyclable and compostable labels, recyclable shrink sleeve labels, inks and more.

Find out more by contacting us today!