Pack Expo is a Good Reminder That There Are More Sustainable Paper Solutions Ahead of Us
This year the Paper and Packaging Board team and our B2B partner, Stein IAS, joined some 40,000+ people attending PACK EXPO at McCormick Place in Chicago. Our largely corrugated booth and props played off the Pack to the Future theme offering a virtual reality experience about the sustainability of our working forests along with a photo opportunity with our corrugated, DeLorean-inspired car.
Many of the companies that stopped by our booth were actively looking for solutions that will help them substitute elements of their packaging with paper-based solutions. The paper and packaging industry is perfectly positioned to connect and amplify this trend, helping to establish the narrative that taking proactive action to move to paper-based approaches is increasingly an essential element of being an environmentally responsible manufacturer. Innovation is at the heart of the next generation of sustainability.
It’s important that customers and shippers see the paper and packaging industry as collaborative innovators who will partner with them to deliver solutions that will meet their sustainability goals. According to PMMI more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies publish sustainability reports. 89% of those companies revealed recyclable design is a key sustainability strategy; 80% want source-reduced packaging and 56% want packaging made from renewable materials. Check. Check. Check.
We also found downstream packaging customers and box companies are highly receptive to the Box to Nature recycling message. We need to make it as easy as possible for them to participate, either directly through us or through their paper and box manufacturers. Making clear that the major box manufacturers are involved in Box to Nature goes a long way to establishing credibility and interest. If companies funding the P+PB program promote their involvement, there is likely to be strong interest among many of their customers who ship to consumers.
More and more it feels like we are in the midst of a sea of change in materials selection. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to make sure that we are in the center of that conversation, and ready with answers to the questions our customers and consumers are asking.