“Charming, tasteful, food-loving glass packaging”

By: 
June 08, 2011

That was the tagline to the first of the advertising I saw online in the new pro-glass campaign kicked off by Owens-Illinois. I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the marketing meetings leading up to the campaign but it's pretty clear that the glass packaging power, which in the past few years sold all of its (substantial) plastics packaging assets, sees an opportunity for its product-glass packaging-to finally put a licking on plastics.

O-I's says its marketing campaign will be global in scope and include statements from packaging CEOs, environmentalists, consumers and more who will "share their love for glass and encourage brands to choose glass."

Glass packaging needs the help after having its lunch handed to it for more than a decade by the plastics packaging faction, but with plastics in the news in multiple negative lights (think Bisphenol A, bag bans and litter/sustainability/ "How my family lived without plastics" books and articles) the glass mavens obviously see a chance to regain some ground. In the words of Al Stroucken, chairman and CEO of O-I, "As the leading maker of the purest and most sustainable packaging, O-I is excited to spearhead a movement that demonstrates the unique attributes of glass packaging and brings brands back into glass."

Will the plastics industry respond? Maybe a better question is, "Why bother?" Despite the negative headlines, plastics packaging remains king of the hill; O-I's own research shows that only 10% of food and beverage packaging is in glass. But if O-I's campaign wins over some major brand owners, then the industry will remember this as a moment when it should have (re)acted.

 

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