Sustainable Packaging Practices at The Better Packaging Co.
| Case Code: BECG171
Case Length: 18 Pages
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
| Price: Rs.400
Organization: The Better Packaging Co.
Industry: Environment & Waste Management Services
Countries: New Zealand,Australia
Themes: Sustainability, Business Ethics,Environmental Sustainability,Socially-responsible Business Practices
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts
Packaging it ‘better’
TBPCo.’s first courier satchel,the ‘Real Dirt Bag’,(See Exhibit I for TBPCo.’s the ‘Real Dirt Bag’)was part of the company’s comPOST line of products which were made up of corn starch, polylactic acid (PLA), and PBAT. The corn-based feedstock was sourced from Asia, PLA was from NatureWorks LLC , and the PBAT was made in China. When combined with PLA, cornstarch formed the packaging substrate which was used for making bags and labels. According to the company, the combination of corn starch, PLA, and PBAT led to a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in comparison to traditional plastics. The comPOST range of products was non-toxic with no phthalates or Bisphenol A (BPA) . The bags were priced at 18 cents and went up to US$1 per unit, on a par with plastic packaging, according to Percasky and Bezar..
Sustainability Beyond Packaging
Percasky believed that launching sustainable packaging was not the only solution for protecting the environment. She felt that customers should be educated on how to reuse and successfully recycle the packages they received when they ordered goods from e-commerce companies. For instance, the company’s, I’m Wrapt (to be Reused) comPOST packs were designed so that they could be reused for wrapping gifts. Consumers could turn these satchels inside out and reuse them to wrap Christmas presents.This not only extended the life of the packaging,but also helped prevent consumers from buying wrapping paper which could end up in a waste stream..
While TBPCo. did not aggressively market its products, in November 2019, the company launched a campaign known as #BeBetter and asked consumers to pay more attention to packaging and encouraged them to raise concerns with brands not using sustainable packaging. Commenting on the campaign, Bezar said, “This new #BeBetter campaign is NOT an exercise in naming-and-shaming, but instead aims to empower customers to say to their favourite brands; ‘I love buying what you make, but I’d love it even more if you didn’t wrap it in layers of unnecessary plastic packaging.’We hope to educate both brands and their consumers on the alternative packaging options available and in the process make a dramatically positive impact on our environment.”..
Percasky planned to scale TBPCo. by catering to large corporations. However, the company received orders of 50 to 100 packs from small to medium-sized businesses. Though this did not align with her and Bezar’s business plan, they accepted those orders. This helped the company grow beyond Australia and New Zealand. Percasky added that serving these small and medium-sized companies led to the company having warehouses in five countries..
As of 2019, Percasky estimated that TBPCo.’s sustainable packaging products had prevented nearly 80 tonnes of packaging waste from ending up in landfills (See Exhibit VI for the packaging waste crisis). For the same year, i.e., 2019, TBPCo. had achieved a turnover of US$1 million..
Covid-19 pandemic – an opportunity or challenge?
In 2020, TBPCo.’s success was disrupted when it faced supply chain issues due to lockdowns spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Bezar, “In the early stages, there was a huge amount of uncertainty and our sales fell off a cliff in Australia and New Zealand – we were in talks with large companies for branded packaging but that all had to be put on hold.” ..
As of May 2021, TBPCo.had sold 40 million bags to 12,000 consumers in 50 countries. Taking its sustainable packaging initiatives forward, the company planned to launch SWOP (Sustainable Way of Packaging) in 2021 since its existing sustainable packaging solutions could not be reused multiple times. By launching SWOP, TBPCo. planned to align with SDG-12, which discussedResponsible Production & Consumption. The company planned to develop its products with renewable or recycled content as much as possible. According to TBPCo., SWOP was made from more than 90% renewable sources..
Exhibit I: TBPCo.’s the ‘Real Dirt Bag’
Exhibit II: TBPCo.’s Range of Sustainable Packaging Products
Exhibit III: Certifications of TBPCo.
Exhibit IV: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Exhibit V: Impact Investment Readiness Grant Recipients from The Akina Foundation
Exhibit VI: The Packaging Waste Crisis
Exhibit VII: Cartier’s Women Initiative Laureates for 2021
Exhibit VIII: TBPCo.’sSWOP Cycle
Exhibit IX: Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy’s Vision
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