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Environmental Challenges

Environmental Challenges Weighing Down on Paper Packaging Industry

Over the last few decades our society has witnessed a passionate debate on how to make our industries more environmentally sustainable. This debate has also been largely fuelled and aided by unprecedented media attention on ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change.’

These debates have piled up immense pressure on our industries across the board to become more environmentally friendly. Among these industries, paper packaging industry has been on the forefront in bearing this pressure.

This pressure has been intensified even more thanks to a biased campaign against paper packaging industry. This biased campaign largely conducted by media and our own government has created several strong narratives against this industry. The most popular narrative being that over-consumption of paper will lead to complete extinction of tress across the world.

Now these narratives may be very well intended, but they are also equally flawed. They are flawed because these carefully constructed narratives refuse to look into other side or bigger picture of paper packaging industry. The bigger picture actually tells us about tremendous contribution that this industry makes towards our society.

Not just in terms of generating millions of jobs and economic revenue, but also invaluable richness it adds into lives of millions of people. Nowhere does this invaluable richness comes across more visibly than in food and pharmaceutical industries, two industries that are unarguably amongst the most critical industries.

In food industry, different types of specialized papers like coated papers, kraft papers and waxed papers are used to keep freshness and nourishment value of food intact. Needless to say, the value that these specialized papers offer to hotel industry is simply priceless. Without their service, thousands of hotels and other food businesses would face incremental financial loss.

Similarly in healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, different kinds of medical packaging paper go a long way in maintaining optimum quality of different medical properties. Here again paper packaging offers a vital function that helps medical industry in offering better services to its patients.

Then there is invaluable service that paper packaging industry offers to Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies, mainly in the form of bags and pouches. Thousands of CPG manufacturers including big FMGC companies like Procter & Gamble, Pifzer, Unliver etc solely rely on paper packaging to deliver their products to end consumers.

The list of invaluable contribution made by paper packaging industry is actually pretty big. However, even if we consider the above stated examples, then it becomes amply clear that they touch lives of millions of consumers on day-to-day basis. Without their service, lives of millions of people and scores of industrial activities will be greatly affected.

This is to say that their contribution simply cannot be undermined. No matter how persuasive the entire campaign against paper packaging industry turns out to be in the future.

However, entire paper packaging industry must cohesively undertake Public Relations (PR) exercise to improve overall image of the industry. This would greatly help not only in removing misconceptions, but also effectively deal with biased campaign against the industry.

Through sustained media campaign the industry must bring to public attention the great amount of challenges it poses in making sustainable products. At the same time it must encourage for a more open and well rounded debate on environmental concerns.

Last but not least, paper packaging industry must voluntarily make diligent efforts to become as environmentally friendly as possible. Not only by making environmentally sustainable products, but also by adopting environmentally friendly practices. These efforts and practices must be equally highlighted to public through media and non-media platforms.

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