Earth Day 2024

It is hard not to see the attention getting headlines.

”March 2024 was the 10th consecutive hottest month for the planet, with March as the hottest on record.”

“There are an estimated 75 million tons of plastic in our oceans.”

“100 billion plastic beverage containers were produced in the US in 2023—more than 300 bottles per person.”

“Each year the average American ingests 70,000 microplastics in their drinking water.”

“Worldwide forest coverage is declining by an average 4.7 million hectares each year.”

“Scientists estimate we are now losing 10,000 times more animal species than normal.”*

Most Americans (77%) believe climate change is a serious threat to humanity, with 68% supporting policies to tackle climate change. In fact, the Earth Day non-profit is advocating for a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040.

What are the top sustainability innovations for businesses?

According to a recent survey by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, there are several promising trends.

Fiber-based paper is replacing plastic as a material particularly for multi-packs, pouches, and blister packs. Paper is recycled more than plastic and does not foul the oceans.

Ocean-based feedstocks like seaweed and chitin are being commercialized as a legitimate alternative to fossil-fuel based plastics.

Machine learning combined with sortation robots are improving recycling rates, leading to cleaner, higher value recyclable material streams.

QR codes are now being used on package labels to provide consumers with up-to-date information on local recycling. This initiative is being spearheaded by the Recycling Partnership’s Recycle Check platform.

Some cities are investing in shared infrastructure to boost reuse and refill rates with packaging standardization and more efficient collection, sorting, cleaning, and filling operations. Reuse Seattle is one example of this effort in practice.

These are meaningful and promising innovations that can truly make a difference once they achieve scale and broad-based adoption. And they all contribute to the circular packaging economy.

In the meantime, do your part. Assess alternative materials that are more eco-friendly. Be clear on your recycling labeling. Evaluate package designs and structures that use less material. And use recycled or compostable materials whenever possible, particularly for shipping.

Not only are sustainability and the environment consumer issues, but legislation is gathering steam in many states, California being the early adopter. Their statute requires all single use plastic packaging and food service ware to be 100% recyclable, a 65% recycling rate of single use plastic, and an overall 25% reduction in plastic packaging, all by 2032.

At Damen Jackson, we have the benefit of 25 years of working with almost 800 clients to help your brand navigate the complexities and nuances of packaging—the trade-offs, the technologies, the consumer claims, the risks, the upsides. We stand ready to roll up our sleeves to help you create a plan if you do not have one yet. Or we can be a resource to accelerate your progress against a packaging game plan that needs new energy.

Our fresh eyes are there to supplement and augment the experience of your leadership team, while multiplying the odds of discovering meaningful sources of competitive advantage.

Let’s get some great work done!

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

  1. CLICK HERE to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
  2. We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
  3.  If we’re a fit, we finalize the details and get started.

*To learn more, visit Earth Day

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