Today, “sustainability” has become a trendy buzzword in much the same way that the word “organic” flooded media and marketing a few years ago. Sustainability is also a polite word for “survival.” Corporate and planetary existence is at stake as company boardrooms navigate between responsible manufacturing and their own financial viability.
Consumer Electronics is not immune from this tug of war. Indeed, it has become an essential element in the business plans of many forward-thinking companies. Major players, including Samsung, Apple and Microsoft have gone green with their packaging and other aspects of their business. We are closer to the beginning than the end of the sustainability-transition. Our industry can set the example by making sustainability and minimizing waste a priority. The media could also reward advances in sustainable manufacturing and packaging as well as amplifiers, displays, and cables.
While Austere is a small company compared to the industry giants, we are proud to be the home theater accessory manufacturer in the forefront on this issue. At Austere it is a priority for us to minimize environmental impact, maximize value for our customers, and work toward leading the industry to a more sustainable future.
We are eager to share the insights we’ve gained from our experience and believe they can be useful to many CE companies. For instance, more paper in packaging and less plastic is a worthy goal. But there’s a reason plastic is so ubiquitous in packaging. It’s strong, light, durable and cheap. Unfortunately, it is expensive to recycle, and even less recyclable with the addition of sticky labels, colored plastics and printed elements used in most packaging. This is a big reason for the shocking statistic from National Geographic that an astonishing 91% of plastic doesn’t get recycled. Recycling companies often opt for the landfill rather than the expense.
Paper is the next most eco-friendly packaging, after zero packaging, according to Health Magazine’s April 2022 issue. Paper, accounting for 14% of total trash generation, has the highest recycling rate of all packaging materials at 81%. This is why we chose paper packaging for all of our Austere products.
Our boxes are sustainably made with high-quality materials and a beautiful design you want to repurpose instead of throwing them in the recycle bin. Use it for office supplies to organize your desk and drawers, as a last-minute gift box, or as a jewelry organizer.
Our team is continually looking for ways to develop a superior packaging solution. Soon after we launched our first Austere products we changed our packaging in a significant way. We originally had an extra layer of recycled metallic cardboard in-box to give a stunning “reveal” experience to the customer. We realized that this step was just adding waste, so we pivoted.
We also pivoted in other areas including product. Instead of using stickers for information on our plastic bottled product, we found printing directly on the plastic was a more sustainable solution. Ink is easily recycled unlike label stickers that use the gummy glue. So the product information on Austere’s new Clean & Protect bottles are printed directly on the plastic. This allows the bottle to be fully recycled and completely see-through.
Undoubtedly, switching to a sustainable waste-reduction mindset is a major challenge for the consumer electronics industry. But by demonstrating our collective willingness to lead the way and change for the better, we can not only help save the planet but solidify our loyalty among our sustainability-focused customers.
Austere products are made with high-quality materials for performance, durability, and longevity. We believe investing in quality today minimizes the need to purchase replacement products and curtails future waste.
If your electronics are no longer usable, we recommend dropping them off at an electronics collection site for proper disposal. You can use the Consumer Technology Association's Recycle Locator to find a drop-off location near you. If you have electronics that are still usable, donating them to an organization, program, or charity that you support, is a great way to prolong their life.