Why Stand Up Pouches?
The next time you find yourself at your local grocer, retailer, or big box store, take a closer look at the flexible packaging solution that is taking over retail shelves everywhere. Stand up pouches have quickly risen in popularity as the 'go to' packaging solution for literally everything from soups to nuts. Stand up pouches offer value to the end user because they keep products fresher and increase a product’s shelf life. Stand up pouches also require fewer resources to produce, are less costly to transport, and have a smaller carbon footprint than other packaging alternatives. For example, stand up pouches allow for more efficient packing into master shippers than unit cartons or plastic clamshells. Thus reducing both distribution costs and harmful emissions. This is because stand up pouches reduce "slack fill" a.k.a. the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume needed by the product. Of course, customers want to feel like they are getting the most “bang for their buck.” But the added benefit with stand up pouches is that a certain amount of brand loyalty is created when a brand responds to consumer feedback, and adjusts their products and packaging accordingly.
One of the most common requests we receive when a customer approaches us to develop a new flexible packaging solution is to help them select a material that is sustainable, eco-friendly, and recyclable. Kraft stand up pouches are some of our best-selling packaging for environmentally conscious brands. This is because kraft paper communicates a less refined and thus more natural product. However, there other options available to brands looking for recyclable stand up pouches as well. Brands that are currently using non-recyclable stand up pouches—or any other kind of non-recyclable flexible packaging—can benefit from making the switch to a recyclable film. Big brands like Nestle, LEGO, Kraft Heinz, and others have committed to offering 100% recyclable, compostable, or reusable packaging within the next few years, and consumers are looking to other brands to follow suit.
The Nielsen Global Report on Corporate Social Responsibility recently polled 30,000 consumers worldwide and found that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies “committed to positive social and environmental impact”. Furthermore, 52% of their respondents said that that their purchasing decisions are influenced by whether or not the product uses sustainable packaging.
Environmental Impacts and What to Consider
Remember that one of the key reasons that companies and consumers both embrace flexible retail packaging is its positive environmental impact. Contrary to popular belief, pouches can be recycled with other R-7 coded plastic products. Unfortunately, not every consumer recycles, and it’s up to individual brands to properly communicate the importance of taking care of the environment to their customers. But don't be misled by many of the promises made by companies claiming that there products are biodegradable. Even if the bag itself is biodegradable, there is an important caveat to consider. Please see the short video from www.standuppouches.net about the distinction between recyclable and biodegradable, and what that means for stand up pouches.
There are a few things to remember when considering the environmental impact of stand up pouches, whether they are printed or plain. Stand up pouches are made from different laminated barrier films. In other words, each pouch is composed of layers of different types of film that are sealed together to create a structure that can be formed into a stand up pouch, stick pack, sachet, or flexible bag, etc.
A stand up pouch that is made from kraft paper, but combined with other film layers IS recyclable and landfill friendly, but once it is laminated it is no longer biodegradable. There are many good reasons why these pouches are not biodegradable, but the main reason is that if they were then the product inside would not be protected and sealed very well. To be biodegradable, packaging has to be able to break down when exposed to light and air. However, one of the biggest advantages of using kraft stand up pouches for product packaging is that their laminated layers of barrier film and opaque finish block out sunlight and air. The protective layers extend the shelf life of food, and protect it from spoilage via contact with harmful outside contaminants. Remember that food spoilage is a huge waste, and creates a very large carbon footprint.
In sum, stand up pouches have become a popular packaging solution for brands. This is because they keep products fresher, require fewer resources to produce, are much more efficient to transport, and have a smaller carbon footprint overall than other packaging alternatives. Feel free to contact us and see what solutions we have to suit your product. Our digital and flexographic printing capabilities allow us to produce great looking flexible packaging at both very low and high quantities at a competitive price.