There is no doubt that there is a growing trend toward sustainability. Many consumers now specifically look for products that are environmentally friendly so they can minimize their impact on the planet. Many companies are also making changes to be more sustainable, whether to appeal to a wider base of customers or to do their part to help the planet.
One of the easiest ways of minimizing your company’s footprint is to create recyclable packaging and ensure your clients recycle it. But how can you encourage clients to actually recycle the product packaging?
Make It Easily Recyclable
The first step toward getting clients to recycle product packaging is to ensure that it is easy to recycle. Choose a material for your packaging that is typically accepted for recycling in most areas. While some areas accept many types of plastics, others only accept some. The same is true of glass, cardboard, and other materials. When choosing your material, opt for one that is recyclable in almost every jurisdiction. This way, your clients have no excuse not to recycle it since they can just throw it in with other recyclables.
To make recyclability of the packaging even easier, try not to combine two different materials in your packaging, even if they are both recyclable. For example, do not cover an aluminum can with a plastic film. Yes, both are recyclable, but they will need to be separated from each other for processing, making it harder.
Offer Your Own Recycling System If Necessary
If you sell a product that has to come in packaging which is hard to recycle, such as makeup containers that are hard to clean out, offer clients an alternative. You can come up with your own recycling scheme to encourage clients to do so. One option would be to let clients mail you the empty containers to recycle, but you need to do so in a way where the shipping does not counter the benefits of recycling.
It would be easier to offer physical locations for customers to drop off your hard-to-recycle containers so your company can recycle them. If you do not have your own physical stores, see if you can work with a chain that already sells your products. You can even consider offering some sort of discount or free item for those who bring in items to be recycled as a way of encouraging it.
Encourage Recycling on the Packaging
This should go without saying, but you should also place some sort of at least mild encouragement on your product packaging to recycle it when done. This can be as simple as a line of text on the front and the back letting clients know that it is recyclable and how to recycle the item. This simple reminder will be enough to get at least some people to recycle the empty packaging.
Consider Encouraging Reuse As Well
Depending on your product packaging, you can also supplement the encouragement of recycling with encouragement for reusing the packaging. If for example, your product comes in a glass jar, give clients ideas for reusing the jar on your website and social media pages.