Waste is a huge problem when it comes to packaging. Products hidden under layers of plastic and filler, individually wrapped multipack products and items shrink-wrapped to with an inch of their life contribute significantly.
Solution: Reduce packaging
Reducing the amount of packaging we produce isn’t a groundbreaking idea but if we think logically and more holistically about the whole product life cycle we can develop more innovative ways of reducing our product packaging. For example, sustainable footwear brand Rothy’s: Rothy’s vegan, biodegradable boxes are made from 85% recycled materials and they use a single box for protection and shipping, no box within a box within a box for this brand. The team is also looking at how to take advantage of existing real estate on the box and any wrapping to avoid additional printing for care and return cards.
Solution: Design for reuse/return
Another way to reduce waste is to design returnable or reusable packaging. Design for reuse is about considering the full product life-cycle. It may require more robust, longer-lasting packaging materials to withstand washing, transportation and longer-term use. It will also need sufficient infrastructure to accommodate refill/reuse and/or return.
Consider how your product could be reused or how your packaging could be returned and what you would need in place to fulfil this. Trial the service, to begin with, gain feedback with the aim to iron out any of the inevitable snags. This solution is one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary waste and could be essential for our world, but it needs serious planning and commercial viability.