Sustainable Packaging Solutions

With the best of intentions, it can be challenging tackling every hurdle to ensure packaging is deemed completely ‘sustainable’.

We thought we’d address some of the main environmental impacts caused during the production process and look at ways of reducing these issues when considering new packaging design:

Recyclability

Composite packaging from multiple materials creates one of the biggest challenges in achieving recyclability. Sandwich packs with plastic-lined interiors for example; the lining ensures a delicious, fresh lunch, but the different materials are difficult to separate so most end up in landfill.

Solution: Mono material packaging

More brands are moving to mono-material packaging to ensure recyclability. If this is an option for your packaging, it’s important to analyse options carefully and quantitatively, taking in to account any glues or adhesives. Protection of the contents is paramount. After all, if packaging fails to fulfil its primary purpose the whole product may end up in landfill.

Waste

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.

 

Carbon Footprint

Consider the carbon footprint of what it takes to make your product, it’s packaging and its shipping journey. There are plenty of online tools and tracking systems available to calculate your carbon footprint as a business. Once you know what you’re dealing with it’s easier to analyse how you can reduce or offset emissions.

 

Solution: Bulk shipping

Consider your packaging in terms of numbers, is there a way you can fit more into your packaging, can you sell products in higher numbers more efficiently?

 

 

As an agency, we love to problem-solve for you. It is our job to develop creative solutions that fulfil your business needs and sell your products.

Request a quote from us today or contact us for more information.

End
24 September 2019

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