83% of packaging professionals question supply chain sustainability


Supply chain

Eight out of ten packaging professionals (83%) think their business’s supply chain is either not as sustainable as it could be or not sustainable at all, according to a new survey.

The new survey of senior industry leaders was carried out at the SPC Impact 2023 conference in Texas.

The poll of experts from a range of global brands, conducted by packaging sustainability consultancy Aura, also found that one in five (22%) are currently unsure if their company is on track to meet its announced sustainability targets.

More than half of industry leaders (61%) say their brands are only educating the public on packaging sustainability with information on the packaging itself, rather than investing in marketing campaigns or other channels to bring the message home.

74% also feel either that there’s room for improvement when it comes to having good enough data on the environmental impact of their packaging or that they lack that data entirely.

The industry can no longer rely on packaging optimisation after the fact.

The survey also revealed that 52% of industry leaders think a “genuine circular economy” for packaging is still twenty years away, while 26% don’t see it happening for at least fifty years.

Greg Lawson, managing director at Aura, commented: “With new legislation on packaging on the horizon in multiple territories, it seems a lot of packaging professionals remain unconvinced about whether their supply chain has what it takes to ensure greater sustainability.

“The industry can no longer rely on packaging optimisation after the fact, we need to put controls in place that reference data to drive the right decision-making and ensure the right packaging enters our waste streams.

“It’s the only way we’re going to progress towards a circular economy and deliver that in less than fifty years. The fact many in the industry still think it will take that long is deeply concerning.”

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