Supply chain disruptions moved companies further toward sustainability when it comes to packaging, according to a report by R.R. Donnelley & Sons.
Overall, the survey of 300 packaging managers in the US by R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) shows that concerns such as supply shortages, supply chain volatility, and increased prices are causing companies to reevaluate how packaging is sourced and produced. Additionally, 94% of the respondents see sustainability as a key component of their company’s packaging decisions, and 66% of them say they have shifted to more sustainable packaging than what they previously used.
These questions have also caused companies to reprioritize packaging materials (68%), design and aesthetics (49%), and sustainability goals (45%).
Respondents to the survey say supply chain issues made them take a closer look at their sustainability initiatives. According to the report, 55% say they are closer to their goals as a result of that pressure, with 21% saying it set them back.
“These challenges actually transformed the industry into a more innovative, agile, and environmentally conscious sector,” says Lisa Pruett, president of RRD packaging solutions.
RRD says brands are using more recycled materials, and fewer materials overall, which is helping them move toward sustainable packaging. Supply issues also can lead to innovation in how packaging is designed, which can produce a smaller packaging footprint.
Sustainable packaging is a growing priority for many businesses and industries. For example, a cross-industry collaboration by Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf is developing recyclable personal care product packaging.
The Owl Solutions is developing a program that will track plastic packaging waste throughout supply chains. The global sustainable packaging market overall is expected to be valued at more than $351 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets.
The RRD report also shows that 68% of businesses are measuring their environmental impacts in the area. Respondents say budget is the biggest influence, ahead of regulations and consumer preferences, when it comes to implementing sustainable practices.
In terms of the supply chain issues, more of the companies say they are willing to explore changes in how they get their products. Of those who responded to the survey, 62% say they are diversified their suppliers, 42% outsourced manufacturing and fulfillment, and 39% consolidated suppliers.
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