I had the opportunity last week to speak at the BioPlastek 2012 forum in
Arlington, Virginia. In a room filled with chemists and engineers,
I was part of a panel bringing the concepts of branding and
marketing to the rapidly-developing industry of bio-based plastics.
I discussed the topic of bioplastics and their need to deliver
their story to consumers to increase consumer demand and in turn
increase material usage.
I was joined on the panel by several esteemed players in the
world of green marketing and bio-based packaging. Jacquie Ottman of
spoke of the need to deliver a clear and understandable message to
consumers, taking care to avoid "greenwashing." Kate Lewis from the
USDA gave an update on the Biobased
Product Certification Program. This program provides on pack
product and package biobased content to consumers.
In my presentation I focused on several brands that are using
bioplastics and how they are delivering the message to consumers.
Coca-Cola has developed their proprietary PlantBottle resin formula
and mark and have done a good job promoting it on both Coke and
Dasani water. There is still a need to gain more consumer
understanding of what bioplastics are and how they benefit
consumers and the ecosystem.
In my summary and recommendations, I suggested that all of the
bioplastics manufacturers band together as a council and develop a
council mark that can be used to promote the industry. Through
effective promotion of their materials and with education,
consumers could become advocates and encourage manufacturers to use
bio-based plastics in their packaging.