Over 80% of packaging professionals say supply chain is not sustainable

9 June 2023

Research amongst senior leaders in the packaging industry has revealed that more than one in eight admit their business’s supply chain is not as sustainable as it could be, or not sustainable at all.

The shocking statistic – that 83% question the sustainability of their supply chain – was revealed to delegates at the SPC Impact 2023 conference in Texas.

But the same poll also revealed data on sustainability was found to be wanting too. Some 74% of those questioned said they felt that there was room for improvement when it comes to their data on the environmental impact of their packaging, or that they lacked that data entirely.

The research suggests that improvements could be some way off. It found that more than half (52%) of industry leaders think a “genuine circular economy” for packaging is still twenty years away.

More worrying than this, 26% said they didn’t see it happening for at least fifty years.

Commenting on the data Greg Lawson, managing director at packaging reduction consultancy firm, Aura – which did the research – said: “The fact many in the industry still think it will take that long [to get to a circular economy] is deeply concerning.”

He added: “Even though there is new packaging legislation on the horizon, it seems a lot of packaging professionals remain unconvinced about whether their supply chain has what it takes to ensure greater sustainability.”

The data also found that 61% of leaders questioned said their brands are only educating the public on packaging sustainability using information on the packaging itself, rather than investing in marketing campaigns or other channels to spread their message.

Lawson added: “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.”

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