The new standards of transparency
Some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands have already joined the eco-packaging trend, with leading companies taking action to get their packaging certified with labels of sustainability. This comes in response to consumers seeking more transparency as they become more educated about official certifications that ensure materials are recyclable.
The most common internationally-recognised stamp that customers are looking out for is the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certification, which confirms that the product has been made with certified forest materials from institutionally approved sources. There are three different types of FSC labels in total:
- FSC 100%: When the package is made using paper derived from a well-managed forest
- FSC RECYCLED: Attests that the paper used comes from reclaimed/re-used materials
- FSC MIX: Indicates that paper comes from FSC-certified forests, recycled material, or controlled wood
Another internationally recognised organisation, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), serves to support the same mission as FSC but by promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. While PEFC is not a standards agency like FSC, it is special in that it takes into consideration the processing of timber, resulting in a larger emphasis on the supply chain than FSC. It is considered the most appropriate certification system for small forests.
Apart from official sustainability stamps, many brands also enhance packaging labels with instructions on how to recycle, partly to educate, but also to reflect a positive brand image in the eyes of eco-conscious customers. The choice to adopt recyclable materials and stamps can be considered a shrewd strategy, since customers expect companies to make it easier for them to shop sustainably. Meanwhile, when it comes to paper-based packaging, there is no shortage of choices.