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Shareholders put pressure on the fashion industry to move to sustainable packaging

Pressure from shareholders to use packaging which is more sustainable has increased over the past three years, according to a new report with board directors and senior executives who work for fashion brands and retailers in the UK, US and Australia, by Aquapak Polymers Ltd, which specialises in polymer based material technologies. Almost three quarters (74%) said that pressure had increased, with a further 15% saying it had stayed the same, and just 11% said that it had decreased.


Furthermore, 28% expect shareholder pressure to switch away from plastic to more environmentally friendly materials such as paper to increase significantly over the next three years and 55% expect it to increase slightly. Just 15% expect it to remain the same and only 2% expect pressure to decrease.


The impact on their business if the environmental performance of the packaging used is not improved is significant, with executives identifying a drop in market share, reputational risk and declining sales as the three most likely negative outcomes. These are followed by pressure from NGOs, declining share price and missing sustainability targets.


The study also shows that executives are taking the adoption of sustainable packaging seriously, although there is room for improvement. One fifth said it was ‘very good’, three quarters described adoption as ‘good’ and 7% said it was ‘average’.   


Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, commented: ‘The fashion industry is under pressure from a number of different stakeholders to improve packaging sustainability, not least its shareholders. Our research shows that this is set to increase over the next three years. The consequences of not embracing environmentally friendly materials will mean a negative effect on the bottom line as a result of losing market to share greener competitors and a serious dent in sales.’


To help reduce plastic packaging pollution Aquapak has developed Hydropol, a unique new polymer which is soluble and non toxic to marine life. It can be used as an alternative to conventional plastic in a wide variety of applications as it provides the same functionality and performance but without the associated environmental problems. It is currently used to make products such as garment bags, offering all the necessary features of traditional polybags: strength and puncture resistance; clarity of film; and protection from leakages and dirt.


Crucially, Hydropol garment bags present zero end of life issues for consumers and brands. They can be disposed of in existing domestic waste streams without contaminating other recyclable products or they can be dissolved immediately in hot water at home without producing harmful micro plastics. They are also compostable and degrade harmlessly on land or in the ocean.


To download the report, click here




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