Canadians demanding more smart and sustainable packaging: APP

Canadians are urging retailers to think about packaging size before they ship products. A survey of Canadians conducted by the market-research agency ORC International, for Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Canada, found that about 6 in 10 Canadians take issue with the excessive packaging used for home-delivery items. Of those surveyed, 7 in 10 Canadians were concerned with packaging waste, with 58% believing that packaging is often too large for what it actually contains. Despite this, shrinking may not be the answer, said APP. Redesigning to reduce the amount wasted can help significantly reduce environmental impact.

Ian Lifshitz.
Ian Lifshitz.

“Often, making packaging smaller isn’t an option,” said Ian Lifshitz, APP Sustainability Director for the Americas. “The packaging size can serve a function, such as protection. When smaller isn’t possible, we need to find ways to make it more sustainable. Brands need to begin looking at sustainability as a value proposition. There’s a recognized need for deliveries to come in more sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging. According to the research, consumers are demanding it, and will pay a premium for it.”

It’s now possible to use newer types of packaging containing layer board, which has sustainably-sourced virgin fibre on the outside for functionality and recycled content in the middle, said APP. Sustainably sourced materials are available through properly certified managed forests. These are but a few of the investments businesses can make to improve their sustainability, and the investments can result in a worthwhile return.

About 44% of consumers surveyed said they search for products with sustainable attributes or certifications when shopping. Among those who are willing to pay more for products with sustainable attributes, 44% are willing to pay over 10% more for such products. This comes at a time when home deliveries are booming, said the survey. Close to 4 in 10 consumers have household items such as groceries and cleaning supplies delivered to their home via mail. While Millennials are the most likely to have household items delivered via mail at least once a month, Generation X and Baby Boomers are not far behind, the study revealed. And for each item delivered, there’s the all-important protective packaging that could be more environmentally-friendly, and more in keeping with the desires of the customer.

APP Canada is part of the APP group and is the leading importer/distributor of printing papers from APP’s mills in Indonesia and China. The company serves the Canadian printing industry with strategically positioned warehouse inventories of coated, uncoated and opaque stocks in sheet and roll form, C1S and C2S board, photocopy paper and cut-size stock. APP Canada is PEFC certified and “fully committed to maintaining the integrity of APP’s worldwide program initiatives of environmental responsibility, sustainability and quality control.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.