BYO packaging: the next everyday eco-friendly trend

Ryan Boyd
BYO packaging: the next everyday eco-friendly trend

85% of us believe reducing disposable packaging is the right thing to do and 77% believe we can make a difference by reducing use of disposable packaging, a new Colmar Brunton report says.

You see this play out at the cafes where people bring their own reusable coffee cups, but when we go and grab some sushi for lunch, how many of us go for the easy option of the one-use plastic containers? According to Colmar Brunton’s ‘Better futures’ report on sustainability, it’s only 1%.

If reducing disposable packing is so important to us, why are we not taking our own containers?


Barriers to BYO packaging

The report lists the barriers people stated as reasons for not taking their own packaging, which broke down into three categories:

  •   Forgetfulness (e.g. leaving container at home/desk)

  •   Practicality (e.g. hygiene concerns, not wanting to clean containers)

  •   Self-perception (e.g. not wanting to be a nuisance or ask staff, worried about looking odd)


Overcoming these barriers

The report asked people what would encourage them to bring their own packaging when buying food, and the solutions were pretty straightforward:

  •   Positive reinforcement (e.g. a sign saying BYOP welcome, loyalty stamps, 20c discount)

  •   Feeling like you’re making a difference

  •   Ease of access to containers (e.g. work supplied)

  •   Normalisation (e.g. seeing others, including co-workers, doing it)


A good-ish compromise (for now)

There has been a movement for a lot of food packaging to be made from compostable packaging, which is far better for the environment than plastic.

BUT, the report states, it does have downsides:

  •   It still requires proper disposal

  •   It is still single use, and requires resources to produce and transport

  •   It can lead to consumers believing there is no need to bring their own container

Make no mistake, bringing your own packaging is by far the better option, even more than compostable packaging.

So why not give it a go and be a trendsetter. We want to do this. We just need someone to lead the way.

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