Sustainability is something that all companies need to consider no matter how big or small they are. In 2016, we generated 11.5 tonnes of general packaging waste and the majority went into landfill. We need to work together to either reduce the amount of waste produced or by increasing the usability and recyclability of packaging. In this journal entry we’ll look at how we can do this and what you can do to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.
What Does it Mean to Be Sustainable?
Sustainable refers to a constant level, in our case we’re referring to a constant level of living. Maintaining a balance in the environment. We do this by limiting our impact in the environment to prevent the balance becoming uneven. Packaging waste is one of the factors that unbalances the natural order.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
Packaging that has very small or no impact on the environment is sustainable. There are a number of factors that can make packaging design sustainable. Let’s explore further what these factors are.
Might be of interest – Fellow’s Packaging Design Service
Our Top Examples of Sustainable Packaging Design
Here are our top examples of great sustainable packaging design. We’ll also look at how you can use these designs to help improve the sustainability of your packaging design.
Compostable and Biodegradable Packaging
Packaging that is designed to breakdown in the environment and form compost is fantastic as it actually adds back to the soil whilst it is breaking down. It works by using materials that can be eaten away by bacteria and/or fungus to leave nothing but nutrients within the soil.
Examples of Biodegradable Packaging
A great example of biodegradable packaging design is The Co-op and their newly introduced fully compostable bag. The Co-op has taken the initiative to introduce a bag which is fully compostable within customers’ own back garden, placing themselves in the spotlight of low waste supermarkets.
Another example of an emerging biodegradable product is using carton containers for water. Just Water has been increasing in popularity throughout the UK and has 100% biodegradable packaging. Using a carton for packaging avoids single use plastics, replacing it with easy to break down cardboard.
Make Your Product Designs Biodegradable
You can easily add cardboard and paper into more of your packaging design. By avoiding plastics and other materials that are non recyclable you can dramatically reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Reduced Waste Packaging Design
We’ve all been in situations where we have thought something along the lines of ‘this packaging is unnecessary’. We can reduce the amount of waste being produced through effective design.
Examples of Reduced Waste
One of the most popular examples at the moment is toothpaste tablets. Rather than using the conventional toothpaste tube, you can use chewable tablets. These tablets can be stored in recyclable glass or cardboard containers negating the need for plastic and therefore increasing sustainability.
Reducing Your Products Waste
Less is more. Using an effective design can make your product look high quality, whilst using less waste. Think about what your packaging actually needs. Does your packaging really need plastic air packs or can you achieve an effective design with recyclable materials?
Reusable and Recyclable Sustainable Packaging
Packaging needs to be designed either for reuse or to be recycled. There are various ways to do this, the most common is to use recycled material in the packaging or design the packaging to be used again. Here are some examples of how you can do this.
Examples of Reusable Packaging
There are plenty of great examples of reusable packaging, however, we’re going to focus on one that has been emerging online and across social media recently. Reusable roll on deodorant uses cartridge based materials which avoid the use of single use plastics that roll on deodorants are typically made from. Reducing waste and keeping you smelling good.
Making Packaging Recyclable
Explore the options currently available and try to envision if you can make your packaging out of any of these recyclable materials. In addition to this, consider your packaging and if it is going to be thrown away is there any way you can use it again.
Sustainable Basics Explained
There are a number of ways you can help the environment through your packaging. We’re a long way off being zero waste, but, if we all work together we can help reduce the waste our packaging produces. Use recycled materials, try and make your packaging biodegradable and think of where this packaging will end up in 20 years.
Improving Packaging Design for a Cleaner World
If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and this article has inspired you to improve your packaging design then we at Fellow can help. Get in contact with us to find out how we can help make your packaging design eco friendly.