Natural Products Expo logo

Paper is the No.1 sustainable material brands use to innovate their packaging as they work to reduce their carbon footprint.

Gianna Rosenbach, Content Creator, CPG and Digital

October 26, 2022

10 Slides

The world of consumer-packaged goods (CPG) needs to become plastic-free. While plastic may be lighter and easier to ship, it can be recycled just two or three times before it is no longer usable. On the other hand, paper, glass and aluminum are all infinitely recyclable.

While there is no-one-size-fits-all solution or perfect material, there is room to make up for the difference. More options are available, and it goes noticed when a brand chooses not to make an effort to determine the more sustainable option. New Hope Network recognizes and applauds transparent brands in their efforts because waiting for the perfect material at the ideal time will only come too late.

The new X factor

Many Natural Products Expo East attendees took advantage of educational sessions around the future of packaging and sustainability. At The Compostable Packaging Landscape: Materials, Policy & Infrastructure, Gayle Grindley, retail director of new business at Grove Collaborative, said stand out packaging is beginning to differentiate products from their competitors. Using the highest quality natural ingredients to create effective products is now the standard in the natural products industry. Adding responsible packaging, though, takes a product to the next level.

Related:Sustainability perspective: Today's complicated, expensive packaging system must end

Natural products retailers and consumers want to spend their dollars on products that support their values, particularly when it comes to the environment. Frankly, recyclable packaging just isn’t good enough.

While the natural products industry has successfully created healthy and high-quality products, improper packaging can negate these mission-driven brands' positive efforts. In the session, What Chemicals of Concern Are in Your Packaging?, Reyna Bryan, president of RCD Packaging, Kelly Magurany, principal research toxicologist at NSF International, and Cynthia Barstow, founder and executive director of Protect our Breasts, discussed the negative impacts of chemicals in common packaging materials. Bryan said that standards are needed so manufacturers do not harm human health. Bryan also acknowledged the challenge of ensuring new materials can be integrated into the supply chain and effectively assembled on the machinery line.

The packaging landscape is changing every day, but not quickly enough. In the meantime, the natural products industry can be a steward of eco-conscious, sustainable packaging CPG solutions. Using paper and cardboard in place of plastic use is an excellent start because, when done correctly, it is recyclable, compostable and, in the proper environment, biodegradable.

Related:Sustainable Packaging Toolkit

Click through this gallery to see new products from Expo East that use paper and cardboard packaging.

About the Author(s)

Gianna Rosenbach

Content Creator, CPG and Digital, New Hope Network

Subscribe and receive the latest updates on trends, data, events and more.
Join 57,000+ members of the natural products community.

You May Also Like