Sustainable product sales in the US are rising, with more and more earth-friendly products and brands becoming mainstream. Bakers, and other business owners alike, are looking to shift to sustainable packaging as part of investing in the future of the planet, alongside government regulations around single-use plastics and waste management.

But packaging decisions can come with a lot of questions. Why exactly is plant-based a better alternative to traditional plastic or fibre? Why should you choose one material over the other?

good natured Products Inc. a North American leader in earth-friendly plant-based products, is poised to help bakers and other businesses alike navigate the ins and outs of this decision-making process. good natured® has its finger on the pulse of all things sustainable so that you don’t have to.  

What to consider when choosing sustainable packaging

  1. Consider Design and Fit - a package that’s too big or doesn’t optimize shelf life to reduce food waste is not a good option to maximize sustainability. Look for snappy seals that maximize product freshness, scalloped walls to add strength for optimal crush resistance, and stackability features such as nesting bases and lids to optimize shelf space. More freshness and less damage mean better sales and lower food waste, and who doesn’t like the sounds of that?
  2. Consider How Your Product Will Look on the Shelf - Packaging shouldn’t take center stage; your product is the leading role! A design that highlights your product’s features and protects it from damage during transport will improve the perception of quality expected in premium products.
  3. Consider Materials - there’s no one size fits all here. With emerging regulations and different end-of-life infrastructures in different jurisdictions, the right sustainable material for your business should prioritize recycled content or renewable materials. good natured® has options available either way that reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
  4. Consider What It’s Made Of - nobody wants nasty chemicals in their packaging. Not now, not ever! A responsible supplier should be able to provide you with a Letter of Guarantee, carefully outlining what their material purchasing and manufacturing practices guard against. For good natured®, it’s all about making sure their products don’t contain Chemicals of Concern, and they use California’s Proposition 65 as their guiding light.
  5. Consider Availability - there are many new sustainable packaging options and materials being promoted in the industry, but some are many years away from actually being available for purchase. Other options are produced overseas, which is becoming harder to secure. There's a high environmental impact in transporting packaging materials long distances. When possible, choosing packaging made in North America can reduce supply chain costs, provide more control and flexibility, and reduce your carbon footprint.
  6. Consider How You Communicate the Benefits - consumers are confused. Our advice is to keep it simple. Focus on giving clear facts on what your packaging material is made from and ensure you've got independent certification. Stick to a few key facts, like the percentage of plant-based materials and properly disclosed end-of-life options. Don't add to consumers' confusion with tons of fluff or "green" and "natural" claims that have no quantifiable data behind them. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide and follow their advice to reduce the risk of greenwashing. When in doubt, less is more.

There is a lot to think about when choosing eco-friendly packaging (you could say it’s a material decision). good natured® is all about giving you options to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, removing chemicals of concern like BPAs and phthalates from your packaging, and making it easy and affordable to switch to plant-based.

good natured Products Inc. is a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol GDNP.