What’s driving demand today?
Biodegradable horticultural containers predate plastic but are capturing fresh interest from growers, retailers and consumers. One company that has seen sustainability come full circle is Western Pulp in Covallis, Ore.
Starting with a bushel of old magazines and $250 for homemade experimental equipment, in 1954 Ralph Chapman was the first to bring fiber molded floral containers out West. Western Pulp’s current owners purchased the business in 1958 and now have operations in six states. Even back then, before the environment was a societal concern, Western Pulp was diverting tons of paper from landfills.
Consumers are starting to expect sustainable-oriented packaging.
Insights from The Hartman Group:
“While it’s the intrinsic contents or use of a product that determines a purchase, consumers within the World of Sustainability (who make up 88% of our population) view sustainable packaging options as “simple” measures that all manufacturers can take; therefore, it is a minimum requirement for all products, even if the products themselves don’t resonate as sustainable.”
Consumer Attitudes on Packaging & Sustainability, a new report commissioned from GfK by Pro Carton, shows unequivocally that sustainability in packaging is important and consumers are interested in, and concerned about, this issue. More than 64 percent of respondents said that packaging should consist of environmentally friendly materials and more than 55 percent felt that packaging should contain as little plastic as possible. People are aware that cartons are made from a renewable resource and that they can be recovered and recycled more effectively than other materials. As one respondent says, “Cartons or paper can be reused in various ways. Furthermore, they are produced from renewable resources.” Consumers also felt that cartons made of cartonboard were easier to recognize on the shelf and one said “plastic harms the environment and the look of a product.”
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