Updated: June 15, 2010

As a marketer and advertiser who understands the importance of consumer packaging across the marketing mix (4 P’s – product, price, place, promotion) I am also concerned about how retail industries should be using more biodegradable and recycled packaging.  I recognize that it comes down to the simple economics of cost and practicality as much as function, convenience and of course brand image, but much like the movement to rid styrofoam of CFC’s back in the late 80’s, there needs to be a new movement to ensure all, or most, packaging becomes recyclable, biodegradable and/or re-used.

While walking the local grocery isle I am often perplexed by the variety of packaging that seems to be well above and beyond what is needed to contain and promote the product. Excess plastic and non-functional design make some of these products difficult to purchase since the company hasn’t thought about its packaging strategy beyond cost. Yes, I am being general (there are probably many examples of eco-friendly packaging that are also functional) but there aren’t enough products with eco-friendly packaging available.

The folks at Frito-Lay are promoting their new eco-friendly and biodegradable Sun Chips bags which is a start, but why aren’t they extending this practice to all their packaging? (And, as a pet peeve, these new bags make a lot of noise.)