A whopping 343 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated every single year, with packaging material contributing to 46% of this waste. This waste eventually makes its way to landfill, taking hundreds of years for natural decomposition, causing long-term damage to the ozone layer, groundwater, and renewable energy sources, eventually entering into our food chain.
Industries at large, and the retail industry, in particular, have realised the long-lasting damage this can cause to future generations and the environment. Having taken cognizance of this matter, we, at ABFRL are leading the way for sustainable packaging in the retail industry.
By pivoting our internal processes to create an environmentally safe future for fashion, we set a 100% sustainable packaging goal for ourselves and began working towards it through Reduction, Reuse, and Recycle. 1 We have aligned our actions towards efficiently using resources in our Indian fashion brands and today, we have achieved 87% of our goal to reach sustainable packaging.
Creating a 6-Step Plan for Sustainable Product Packaging
Product packaging refers to polybag, product boxes, hangers, and plastic clips among others, used in products. Transport packaging includes cartons and plastic materials used to transport products from one place to another.
From a product point-of-view, we arrived at six detailed processes to weave sustainability into our packaging practices. This is how we went about pivoting our initiatives for a cleaner future for fashion.
- Benchmarking: We benchmarked nine brands to assess their packaging process and identify the scope of packaging material elimination and optimization.
- Classification: Packaging material was classified into pollutant and non-pollutant material, and each quantity was measured separately.
- Impact Assessment: The environmental impact assessment of using plastic materials was done using “Plastic Score Card” and we opted for safer plastics.
- Computation: We started monthly computation for all brands to monitor the consumption trend of packaging material with an increased focus.
- Automation: Our computation process was digitized to measure and monitor monthly packaging material consumption. Automating the digital packaging computation process helped increase accuracy, efficiency and real-time data.
- Periodic Verification: Annual verification of packaging weights was established to ensure changes in design, optimisation or elimination get captured.
Formulating 2 New Policies for Transport Packaging
In transport packaging, plastic polybags and corrugated carton consumption had to be addressed. We implemented two new policies to tackle this –
- No master pre-pack polybags from January 2019; resulting in a reduction of 20 tonnes of plastic in the supply chain
- Implementation of Zero New Carton purchase policy; the purchase of cartons went down four times since FY 2017 and was replaced with second-hand cartons
We are working towards including additional product categories within the scope of sustainable packaging to give more than we take from the ecosystem. Through innovative packaging methods, we are striving to ReEarth for a better Tomorrow.
What this means for you
63% Indians believe that fashion should be produced responsibly. Conversely, 78% of people shop responsibly by using cloth bags. 1
So, the demand exists. Awareness does too. All that is left is collaboration.
When we collaborate with you, the environment-conscious consumer, we work towards reducing carbon footprint together.
Change, Conservation, and Caring for the environment begins with sustainable clothing brands. Let’s join hands to work towards a safe and fashionable future.