‘Twas the night after Christmas and all the through the house the remnants of presents were strewn all about. That is how the story ended for many of us who took part in the holiday gift-giving tradition.

I’ve been in the packaging business for nearly three decades, so it frustrates me to tear through a huge box filled with messy peanuts to finally unwrap the lone pair of earphones I ordered online. If I’m not shaking my head about the unnecessary space and freight charges this retailer must have incurred for shipping this over-packaged order, I’m pondering what I should do to dispose of the excessive packaging waste.

This is the antithesis of what the 2,000 e-commerce consumers we surveyed define as a rewarding brand experience. 

Consumers want orders to arrive in two days or less, wrapped in easy-to-open packaging, without the messy- hard to dispose of- waste, and shipped in a package that can be easily reused for returns.  They want sustainability by default and one of the most effective ways to lead your business to this ambitious end result is to simply use less packaging. 

Thankfully, many companies today are focused on right-sizing and material selection to deliver their products in a more efficient manner. But a good many of the packaging materials being introduced into the market do not deliver on the performance requirements also desired in the marketplace. This is why over-packaging remains the norm.

Following this month’s historic COP 21 Agreement in Paris, I want to echo our President & CEO Jerome Peribere’s statement reinforcing our 2020 Sustainability Goals and our commitment to help combat global warming of the planet by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

At Sealed Air, encouraging our customers to use less of our products is a critical part of our mission to create a  world that works better:

  • Creating stronger and better performing products reduces the need for excessive packaging and overpackaging.
  • Eliminating excess and optimizing packaging allows brands to reduce the weight and size of the box.
  • Lighter packages mean lighter loads and fewer trucks needed to ship the same amount of product.
  • Fewer loads help save fuel, reduce transportation energy, decrease emissions and lower shipping costs for the brand.
  • And, beyond the sustainability impact, less mess, reduced waste and undamaged products improve the consumer’s overall experience with a brand.

One would think a company that produces packaging products and solutions would be threatened by the move toward more sustainable packaging, but that is not the case at Sealed Air.

Considerations for reducing the overall amount of packaging materials consumed by our customers, and optimizing packaging solutions for improved transport efficiencies are embedded in our packaging and new product initiatives. 

We have long embraced the trend toward “doing more with less” and we will continue to be deliberate in the ways in which we incorporate that philosophy into the innovation and design of our packaging solutions.  

It’s the right thing to do for our brand, for our planet, for our customers and for our customers’ customers.