With growing focus on environmental issues, the luxury packaging world is changing
With consumers’ increasing attention on environmental issues, combined with their search to make ever more eco-friendly purchases, businesses are now acting to find practical packaging solutions with a reduced environmental impact.
This trend has led many companies operating in the beverage packaging sector to change their mission to invest even more into research and development of eco-friendly alternatives. One such example from a few months ago was the breaking news that Bacardi is to transition to biodegradable bottles before 2023. This is a sign that there are decisive moves towards the protection of the environment.
Only recently the term, luxury packaging, was considered the opposite of sustainable packaging, whereas, we can now say that they go hand in hand with no problem at all.
Clear examples of this are our Abor and T-Cask products. Both are made using innovative production processes that respectively reuse waste generated during distillation and end-of-life barrels. The resulting cutting-edge closures are designed for premium and super-premium products. And there’s also Duo, the closure that can be easily separated – the head from the leg – to enable effective recycling.
Sustainable luxury – the challenge
Until a short time ago, prestigious brands and their clients would often focus more on the aesthetic appeal of packaging rather than its eco-friendliness. But now the whole sector is changing course.
The task of producing sustainable packaging elements that are also relevant to the premium beverage market, is anything but straight forward. The challenge is highly significant. Beyond the health of the environment around us, you also have to emphasize that there is currently greater awareness compared to the past and the equation has altered to green = trendy. The core engine for this change has been the selfsame consumers, who have made significant changes to their own purchasing habits in favor of more sustainable choices.
The green trend is one we have been seeing for a number of years, but since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been boosted over the last year. During the first lockdown, people chose to follow a more sustainable lifestyle, McKinsey data suggests, with more focus on recycling and purchasing products with more eco-friendly packaging. This is why this trend is something that can no longer be ignored in the luxury market.
Sustainable packaging – the business choice
In recent years, even businesses in the luxury sector have reversed the trend towards more sustainable practices. Pioneers in the sector certainly include Gucci, having launched their 100% recyclable packaging in FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper, back in 2010.
Focusing exclusively on the beverage world, many producers are actively developing new, more sustainable solutions without any impact on the luxury concept. In addition to the Bacardi example noted at the start of this article, one brand that has committed to protecting the environment is Westland Distillery. It only uses natural resources for its production and Copper & Kings takes advantage of solar energy for its electricity supply.
Meaning that, apart from materials, companies are adopting measures to make production processes more environmentally friendly. This includes Tapì, which has been moving in this direction for years, by investing heavily into the research and development of new solutions to reduce carbon footprint. NEOS technology is one example. Launched in 2020, it uses renewably sourced polymers while maintaining product performance and aesthetic appeal, by working with the origins of the raw materials and not their performance.
Luxury, sustainable packaging – the future
What has been said so far helps us understand that producers have taken the commitment to reduce their environmental impact through production processes and/or materials. This is a significant step in the right direction.
Looking to the future, it seems clear that businesses will continue to improve the eco-friendliness of their packaging. And hopefully in favor of bioplastics, as they can provide the same aesthetic impact as the traditional alternatives, or other sustainable materials that are easier to recycle or reuse once they have fulfilled their task.
In the light of the examples given here, we can certainly say that today luxury packaging really can be sustainable. The whole industry has evolved through innovations that are equally good from an aesthetic and/or performance perspective when compared to less sustainable alternatives.