Winfried Muehling, director marketing and communication, Pro Carton, explains.
For many Brits, Valentine’s Day is an unmissable event in the calendar. Celebrated annually on 14 February, there is no universally understood origin of the popular occasion, but there is little doubt about its modern day significance. Valentine’s Day is characterised by expressions of love to your partner, often involving the exchanging of gifts. But well intentioned gift buying can have negative side effects on our planet. Fortunately, thanks to sustainable solutions in the packaging industry, there are reasons to be optimistic that Valentine’s Day can be a day of love for your partner and our planet.
We recently commissioned a study of more than 5000 consumers, including 1008 UK citizens, about their attitudes towards the environment and their packaging perceptions, and the results yielded many interesting findings.
When it comes to packaging, Brits are willing to do their bit for the environment. For example, they emphatically demonstrated their love for cartonboard, the most ecologically balanced packaging, with 79% stating they would prefer it to plastic. This bodes well for this year’s festivities.
Furthermore, Brits clearly demonstrated that the environment was a strong consideration even after the chocolate’s devoured, the jewellery’s unboxed, and the perfume’s sprayed. Some 85% cited ‘easy to recycle’ as an important packaging feature, ahead of ‘protect the product’ (75%), while almost half (46%) declared that the environmental impact of a product’s packaging has become more important in the last 12 months.
If these findings don’t make brands sit up and take notice, it is likely the following will. Despite the cost of living crisis, 43% of UK consumers have chosen a brand specifically for the packaging used, while almost half (42%) have switched brands or products because of concerns about the packaging used. This raises some important considerations for brands, not least, that investment in sustainable packaging and a wider commitment to operating more sustainably is no longer a choice, but a commercial imperative.
Increasingly, in response to this phenomenon, brands are investing in cartonboard to package their products, and it is likely that the circular packaging medium, that boasts a recycling rate of 82%, will play a big role this Valentine’s Day. For example, behemoth chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli opted to package its chocolate ladybugs in cartonboard this year, while German cosmetics brand Dr Grandel did so to package its eye catching health products. Incidentally, both packs were Gold Award winners at Pro Carton’s European Carton Excellence Award 2022.
Have you considered your environmental footprint this Valentine’s Day? Fortunately, the cartonboard industry – the leader in sustainability and circularity – is helping to ensure that loving the planet, as well as your partner, is highly achievable.