Should End-Users Take the Moral Dilemma of Eco-Friendly Packaging?

As our readers will know, here at Hydropac we’re all about offering the environmentally friendly solution for temperature-controlled packaging solutions to our customers across the board, and we’re proud of what we offer! We feel our clients are too, as we hear nothing but positive feedback especially for our flagship eco packaging options (EnviroCool & Recycle-Air), but what’s concerning is we’re also hearing that end-users (that’s the people who receive the goods) complain about packaging when it ISN’T eco-friendly – too much waste/plastic/EPS etc, but then they also complain if they have to pay extra to receive an eco-friendly equivalent. The status quo is therefore maintained. So, what is the right course of action to take?

There’s no financial advantage for our clients investing in eco-friendly packaging if they’re running at a loss because they can’t push the cost down the line, but likewise, the risks posed by climate change and the part we all have to play are increasingly part of our awareness.

Here’s what we think – if we ran a website offering food sales online, we would pass the moral dilemma back down to the customer and highlight the ethical choices of packaging against cost for them to make their own decision.

Customers could have a choice of 3 different packaging options to pack their food in at the online checkout; like economy or premium delivery timescales, but for the actual packaging instead. It must be made clear that all of these options perform their job to the same high standards and there will be no change as to how the goods inside are kept cool during transit.

  • EnviroCool – the “premium” option, but is the 100% moral and ethical packaging choice. It costs more to the end user because it costs more to manufacture but has a whole plethora of eco credits to its name including being reusable, organic, biodegradable, compostable, made from recycled content and can be recycled. It’s even vegan friendly!
  • RecycleAir – the “middle” choice, as it can be recycled (with most local refuse collections, check with your local council) or reused, but does not have the same list of eco-benefits as EnviroCool. It’s cheaper to manufacture than EnviroCool, but not as cheap as the traditional EPS/polystyrene shipper, and therefore cheaper for the end user.
  • EPS/Polystyrene shippers – the “Economy” option and the cheapest of them all, but the one everyone complains about the most as whilst EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) can be recycled, a lot of domestic recycling plants/local councils refuse to take it. Most likely, it ends up in the black bin and sent to sit in landfill for many years to come as customers don’t know where to take it for recycling. It’s slow to biodegrade and hard to reuse, as it falls apart relatively easily. Our ReflectiveAir liner may be a good option for those who prefer the low cost option of EPS, as it is also a low cost solution that works equally well, it’s not as bulky and unlike the poly shippers, it can be reused in a number of ways.

If the customer had the choice to analyse each type of packaging and choose then based on their beliefs vs how much they’d be willing to pay, would that change their mindset about the total cost of delivery+packaging, and would this mean the blame wouldn’t then be shifted to the supplier? How much do people really want change when it falls to them to make the choice?

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Knowledgebase Packaging branche