Round table ” Processing of milk.”: Economical or environmentally friendly? What should be the packaging?

Publication date: 17.01.2021 | Author: Andrew Ryssiev

Interview with Andrey Rysyev – Commercial Director of the machine-building company «AVIS»

1. What are the factors in the consumer’s choice of packaging? Is it true that today’s buyer chooses not only for convenience of consumption, attractive design, but also goods in eco-packaging?

The main factor in the choice of packaging by the buyer, of course, is habit. Literally, it looks like this: “That’s what I always buy – that’s what I will buy!” And the question: “Why do you buy goods in this packaging and not another?” – rather, it’s perplexing with the subsequent answer: “I always do this because …” And then fantasies begin to answer why. The vast majority of humans do not know consciously and reasonably why they choose this product and in this package. Of course, our choice is influenced by the attractiveness of the design, and convenience, and the price, and the quality of the product, and the subjective ratio of these qualities. But it is a fact that we do not live in an information vacuum. “Environment” is shaping our habits and life pattern. “Environmental friendliness” is the main factor that will influence our decisions soon. But until the end it is not clear what is it?

This issue is complex and controversial. It is positive tendency that we have stopped thinking that paper is good, plastic is bad. We began to ask questions: what is kind of paper, and what is kind of plastic? Now we know that specific plastic is more environmentally friendly than a specific “paper”.

2. Most manufacturers agree that Switch to environmentally friendly packaging will affect the final price of the product and will fall on the shoulders of the consumer. That’s it?

Of course. The cost of packaging is always fall on the shoulders of the consumer. And if manufacturer’s costs for a particular packaging increase, the consumer will compensate this additional price.

But not the fact that eco-friendly packaging will be more expensive.

Let’s assume that gross emissions of СO2 at all stages of the life of a packaging: from the production of all elements of raw materials to utilization of this packaging, as well as the amount of costs from production to the final stage of utilization or recycling is an absolute measure of the environmental friendliness of the package. In such circumstances PET can be recognized as the most environmentally friendly and cheapest packaging. СO2 emissions at all stages of the packaging life cycle are minimal and support of each production step needs minimal expenses. We just need to fine-tune the system of collection and recycling. Can the expenses for utilization affect the final cost of a PET product? Yes, but not as much as for other types of packaging. Ceteris paribus, the price for polystyrene, tetra-pack and laminated cardboard will increase. Even biodegradable packaging will increase in price – it turns out that CO2 is released during the decomposition of this packaging much more than when cardboard is burned.

3. What packaging formats will be most in demand in the nearest prospect? What is the reason for this? Is it possible to switch to more inexpensive types of packaging?

Packaging price, logistics costs, convenience and attractiveness are the basic parameters for consumers.

The parameter of environmental friendliness will be added to it, but it will become indirect through other parameters. I think that the issue of environmental friendliness will be implemented through the mechanism of accounting for the costs of packaging recycling and thus the costs of environmental friendliness will be directly related to the price of packaging. And we will get that the main packaging, at least for liquid dairy products, will be PET. PET will hold position instead of laminated cardboard and tetra-pack, but it will also press fin-pack packaging. It is possible that glass will increase a share in the market a little, but not significantly. Cheap packaging will definitely not appear in the market, at least there are no prerequisites for this in the light of “environmental” issues.