Social media analytics on sustainable packaging trends reveals that sustainability is becoming a more significant concern for consumers all across the globe. Consumers are increasingly put to the challenge to consider the consequences of their choices when it comes to the packaging material. According to a poll conducted by Ipsos and Buzzfeed, four in ten consumers report that they have started using fewer plastic straws due to recent attention on the issue. Sustainable packaging addresses the concerns of consumers who favor environmental sustainability efforts. As attitudes change globally, the need for sustainable packaging draws greater attention.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), sustainable packaging follows this criterion:
A. Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle
B. Meets market criteria for performance and cost
C. Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy
D. Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials
E. Is built using clean production technologies and best practices
F. Is made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle
G. Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy
H. Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and industrial closed loop cycles

The SPC’s definition blends sustainability objectives with business strategies that address the environmental concerns related to the life cycle of packaging.

Social Media Analytics Reveal How Brands Are Embracing Sustainability

Looking at social media analytics on sustainable packaging, it is evident that many corporations and brands are actively working towards embracing sustainability. Check out how these 5 major brands are embracing sustainability:

1) Starbucks

Starbucks is working towards a plastic straw phase-out by 2020. As a result, they are planning on eliminating all plastic straws for cold drinks and replacing them with plastic lids. The lids that are working to replace the straws are also made of plastic, but their polypropylene content can be widely recycled. In addition, Starbucks has invested $10 million in the NextGen Cup Challenge. The challenge seeks to develop a fully recyclable and compostable hot cup. Starbucks customers show excitement towards the brand for recognizing and switching over to sustainable packaging trends. In other words, consumers are acknowledging the effort that Starbucks is putting toward sustainable packaging. social-media-analytics-starbucks

2) Procter & Gamble

As a part of its “Ambition 2030” project, Procter & Gamble has set sustainability goals to minimize plastic waste and turn to green power by 2030. P&G CEO, chairman, and president David Taylor said: “We believe P&G can be a force for good and a force for growth, and we are taking a more deliberate approach to delighting consumers while enabling responsible consumption.”

According to social media, P&G consumers are glad that they are adopting sustainable methods for their packaging. In addition, P&G has expressed its global commitment to providing consumers with sustainable packaging.  


3) Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is working with a host of partners to deliver its “World Without Waste” sustainable packaging vision. The project will aim to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells globally by 2030 and renew its focus on the entire packaging lifecycle. In sum, Coca-Cola intends to continue actively working on sustainable packaging. They are one of the top brands to work towards sustainability. However, social media analytics reveals that the public is not impressed by their efforts.


Social media data shows that some users are lacking excitement towards the brand because of their insufficient level of effort towards sustainable packaging. With the recent release of Coca-Cola’s report on the amount of plastic they use, consumers are expressing negative sentiment towards the brand. Consequently, social media analytics reveal that customers want Coca-Cola to take greater initiative toward sustainable

4) McDonald’s

As one of the largest fast-food restaurant companies, McDonald’s has an immense impact on sustainable packaging efforts. In fact, within the next seven years, they are working towards using only sustainable packaging in all McDonald’s restaurants. By 2025, they have set a goal to have 100% of the fast food restaurant’s packaging come from renewable, recyclable, or certified sources.

Looking into social media analytics on McDonalds’ sustainable packaging trends, it is evident that customers are looking forward to their sustainability efforts. social-media-analytics-mcdonalds

5) Lush Cosmetics

Lush is not only best known for its amazing scents and products, but also for its sustainable packaging efforts. For example, their solid shampoo bars help save over 450,000 liters (118,800 gallons) of water each year. Moreover, thirty-five percent of Lush’s products are sold “naked”, with no packaging, so zero-waste is absolutely possible.

Furthermore, the social conversation around Lush and sustainable packaging trends reveals that Lush is impactful in their sustainable packaging efforts. social-media-analytics-lush


These trendsetters are creating new solutions through innovative and sustainable packaging trends. Consumers across the globe are increasingly looking for brands to take the lead on sustainability. Other brands are also looking towards these companies for sustainable packaging trends. Using them as an example for their own campaigns and strategies, brands like Wendy’s are joining the sustainable packaging movement.


The Significance of Social Media Analytics on Sustainable Packaging Trends

We can reduce our carbon footprint with sustainable packaging. Using social media analytics to look at sustainable packaging trends and which brands are embracing them shows the increased attention towards sustainability. In other words, this shows that many brands have signaled a commitment to reducing packaging waste. In short, sustainable packaging is on the rise and reminds brands that they should be joining the movement towards sustainability.

With the help of the Twitter heat map obtained through social listening, we can analyze where sustainable packaging is trending the most. We can see that most of the attention to these trends are coming from Twitter users in North America and the UK. These regions have generated a large discussion on sustainability and sustainable packaging trends. On the other hand, we can see where sustainable packaging trends require more attention across the globe. In sum, the Twitter heat map provides social media analytics on which parts of the world have picked up on these trends and where other parts are falling behind in their sustainability efforts. Brands can use social media analytics to analyze where sustainable packaging trends need help and can redirect their focus on those regions. 

Additionally, the majority of sentiment towards sustainable packaging is positive. Further proving that consumers across social media highly favor sustainable packaging trends. 

Key Takeaway:

Consumers are increasingly looking towards brands to take the lead on environmental issues. With this in mind, brands must leverage sustainable packaging trends and ensure that they are moving towards adopting a strategic framework. When brands take leadership in terms of environmental stability, they develop stronger trust between their customers. Consumers recognize when brands consider such issues and build a voice around it. For example, 48% of US adults aged 18-34 have a more favorable impression of Starbucks following their announcement to remove plastic straws by 2020. Above all, sustainable packaging trends raise awareness around how brands should be moving towards sustainability soon.

Learn how sustainable packaging became a corporate necessity, here