At xpedx, we often talk about leading by example with sustainable solutions. Therefore, I was both intrigued and concerned by some of the statistics reported in a recent article by Packaging Digest titled “Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions.”
The exciting news is that a record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, according to the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker as cited in the article. I believe we will continue to see sustainability grow as a decision factor among consumers. As a result, companies need to carry on with innovations in this area.
However, the same number – 71 percent – wishes that companies would do a better job to help them understand environmental terms and issues. And 85 percent of respondents want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. This means that we as a society are not capturing many of the intended payoffs from sustainable packaging after it transfers from the company to the consumer.
To me, it is a no-brainer. Green actions take a broad effort by both consumers and companies to be successful. If any step of the process falls short, then we risk losing the overall benefit. As more and more Americans consider the environment, companies must work with them to offer both sustainable packaging and instructions on proper use and disposal.
So the answer to the question “Who’s responsible for green actions?” is -- EVERYONE. From the manufacturer to the distributor to the consumer to the company that picks up the recycling and waste, if we all work together, we’ll make our environment cleaner and safer for future generations.