When you hear clamshell, you’re probably thinking of something you find at the beach, not plastic packaging.
Blister packaging, also known as bubble packs, is a type of plastic, thermoformed packaging in which a product is sealed in plastic. A blister pack that folds into itself is called a “clamshell.”
Clamshell packaging, in addition to the other plastics of the world, is creating an environmental headache. Every year, 31.9 million metric tons of plastic waste is improperly disposed.
In 2013, 78 million metric tons of plastic were produced worldwide. Of those 78 million metric tons, 40 percent ended up in landfills while 32 percent “leaked” into the environment, causing pollution to affect both land and sea. When plastic waste ends up in the ocean, it causes damage amounting to at least $13 billion per year.
Currently an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic resides within our ocean water. According to a 2016 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean if action isn’t taken.
That’s where reusable packaging comes in. Reusable clamshell packaging not only ensures the long term protections of the items sealed inside, but also help protects the environment.
Reusable clamshell packaging isn’t only good for the environment. It’s also profitable. A 2016 West Rock Consumer Insights study confirms as much. 26 percent of respondents said that the packaging of a product is an important aspect of their overall satisfaction with a product. That’s an increase from 18 percent of respondents in 2013.
The same study found that only 14 percent of consumers feel brands are doing anything to alter packaging so that it meets the needs of its customers. This is unfortunate considering the overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the power of packaging. 66 percent of consumers have bought a new product because the packaging attracted their attention.
People are attracted to reusable retail packaging because of the message it sends. The West Rock study found that 45 percent of consumers purchased a product because the packaging was environmentally friendly. Worldwide, 52 percent of consumers make purchasing decisions based on the social and environmental messages presented on a product’s packaging.
Reusable clamshell packaging offers one of many solutions/options for fighting plastic pollution in our oceans and lessening our landfills. With green packaging, brands can make a positive and lucrative impact on consumers and the environment.