It is increasingly common to include on the product packaging information or iconography on how to recycle the product. This way of involving consumers in the product recycling is a quite common practice, sometimes even a legal requirement, that consumer brands use as a way to communicate their commitment towards sustainability. At recycl3R we support these initiatives and we believe that it is the way forward. However, physical labeling may not be very effective (when there is no standardized waste collection at a national level of that particular packaging, providing not useful messages to consumers) and it could be even confusing to the consumer (when iconography used is not known to the consumer or because of the big amount of different information contained in the package). This is even worse if the consumer does not read the product label or has no interest in looking for that information.
As an alternative, digital solutions (normally based on smart packaging or connected packaging) can be a simpler, clearer and more effective option when displaying this information. The brand owner can show all the data and all the information he wants without being limited by the available space on the packaging, only having to include a QR code, with which the consumer can access the information, or include a Call To Action message in the same packaging or in other mediums/channels if only using the existing barcode.
Digital solutions can offer more information and in a more targeted way
Digital solutions can offer, in addition to the packaging sorting information (as labels do), detailed and local information adapted to the specific product and the location of the user and consumer:
- what percentage of that packaging has been manufactured from renewable materials, recycled materials, etc.
- what environmental impact has this packaging and/or product and what benefit does it have for the user/consumer to properly recycle it and buy it again.
- what has been the life cycle of the product and the packaging.
- what waste management possibilities (reuse, return, recycling,…) the user/consumer has around him and how he can use them.
- what commitments the brand has made and what sustainability efforts it has made.
Digital solutions open up a whole range of possibilities for brands. All this information, which cannot be displayed on the packaging without damaging other aspects of it, is an increasingly valued information for consumers. According to The Food Industry Association, 75% of consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is provided on the physical label.
A digital solution can be more attractive to the consumer
In addition, a digital service allows the brand owner to get closer to its consumer in a much more direct and close way. The company is able to modulate its message, align it with its values, introduce the information into its marketing strategy, as well as gamify the solution, turning it into something enjoyable and fun. The incentives and gamification of this type of applications allow to increase the acquisition, activation and retention of users/consumers, retain this customer and help them improve their recycling habits (according to our own surveys, 47% of consumers who use similar solutions recognize that they recycle more and better since they use it). In addition, 86% of consumers who use this type of application perceive the brands that promote these digital services as more committed to the environment. According to recent studies, a significant majority of consumers (specifically 79% according to Capgemini) are changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact.
Any information action is positive although the digital beats the physical one
Although including sorting and recycling information on packaging labeling is desirable and beneficial for the environment, at recycl3R we are committed to digital solutions that significantly expand this desired impact. These digital solutions help brands to achieve their environmental, social and business objectives, but also allow to significantly increase the positive impact on consumers and on the environment.
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