Sustainable Gamechanger


Everybody talks about sustainability, but nobody truly changes the game. Why oh why?

Packaging is practical. Packaging is awesome. It secures our products from contamination and external influences and prolongs a products’ life. Packaging enables easy product transportation and helps to combine different products in a useful way, and more importantly, allows the product to be presented in an attractive way; in a bottle, in a flacon, with a label, in a folding box with lacquer finish and foam inlay placed in a shipping box with attached info-brochure and sealed with a plastic wrap… Well. Oookay.

In reality packages are frowned upon. Their diabolic material mix, this wild rubbish heap with chemical enhanced colours and finishes. Always too much, like the make-up of some statesmen, not wearable, but always present.

To create biodegradable packaging uses up as much energy in the beginning of the value chain as it does in the end, so that it may not be worth the effort. Organic plastic solutions are only sustainable if made from plants’ waste and not from plants that are especially grown for this purpose.

Regarding the issue, we stumbled upon an interesting sentence: “Everybody thinks, sustainable, but where are the real game-changers? A legitimate question, which as rhetorical as it may sound, is secretly waiting for a truthful response. But we are waiting and waiting as in Becketts play. Godot never arrived, but hope was there. Or so. Yet with hope, waiting appears even more painful and likewise sitting there hoping for a sustainable packaging breakthrough turns out to be, not exciting.

Not exciting, yet thought-provoking is the following attitude: “Acting as if”: A little bit eco here, some recycling material there, reusable boxes today, vegan labels tomorrow, are common practices these days. See, bold works differently.

But why put on this act? Why hide behind the hypocritical and egotistical pretext of a not fully serious eco movement? For the good looks or for the purpose of saving money?

We do admit, we prefer to take the easy route too as it has been paved out for us so beautifully. But why is the alternative which is also the smarter path so difficult to walk on in the first place? How can it be that we do not really have a choice?

The business is lacking innovators, open-minded thinkers that want to change the packaging world. We long for disrupters that are willing to challenge the common rules and establish a new packaging “behaviour”, not only when it comes to consumption and waste, but also when it comes to product offerings in the first place. Pretentious eco-hypes are not needed, but lasting sustainable solutions that encourage and mark a true change. However, the business is lacking money and motivation.

What we need are ambitious producers that do not chill in a comfort zone, but write history in a technical lab, who cooperate with creative minds to develop new materials and reasonable and more effective processes. At the top, more support is needed from future-oriented companies and sponsors, the first who show buying interest and the latter who invest enough cash to propel progress. Both should make sustainability affordable.

United forces perform wonders, overcome barriers and lead the way.

And one thing is as clear as day: Supply is determined by demand. So we demand!