Sustainable Packaging Design

What’s YOUR creative agency doing about sustainable packaging design?

Sustainable packaging is BIG news at the moment – we’ve all read the news about the havoc our ‘plastic addiction’ has caused. We’ve seen eco-activists like Greta Thunberg and Dame Ellen McArthur talking passionately about the circular economy and the damage packaging waste is doing to the environment – heck, even 94-year old Sir David Attenborough has joined Instagram in a bid to open the eyes of a new generation to humans’ impact on the earth.

But what exactly is meant by sustainable packaging?

Environmental sustainability and business aren’t always the cosiest of bedfellows, especially when it comes to packaging – but it’s the first thing consumers see and will heavily influence their buying decisions.

A recent Which? Investigation found that 59% of consumers would be willing to pay more for products packaged in eco-friendly packaging, and more than half of the people surveyed said they’re making a conscious choice to use less disposable plastic than they were doing a year ago.

Sustainable packaging has been defined as: packaging with a reduced environmental impact – generally made from materials that are recyclable, biodegradable or reusable. 

Packaging production methods must also be considered, including the number of steps in the supply chain and the carbon footprint of the material/packaging production method (we’re a carbon neutral company btw!)

Some interesting packaging stats and facts:

  • The UK is one of the world’s largest producers of packaging waste, contributing 2.4 million tonnes of the stuff each year?
  • 90% of shoppers want easily recyclable packaging
  • The UK government has pledged to eliminate plastic waste by 2042

If you’re a consumer company selling a product in packaging (i.e. 99.9% of consumer businesses) sustainable packaging is likely to be a major agenda point on your Zoom meetings for the foreseeable. 

But how do you even start the process of re-designing your packaging to ensure it meets environmental, regulatory and consumer demands?

It all starts with sustainable packaging design

(Which is handy, given the fact we’re a design agency specialising in packaging design)

Here’s a snapshot of some of the initiatives we have in place to help our clients meet their sustainability targets during 2021 and beyond:

Understanding the brief

We’ll talk about your sustainability objectives right from the outset – reducing our environmental impact is hugely important to us and we understand it will be to you too. 

During the briefing and on-boarding process our skilled designers, CAD technicians and print specialists will ask you the right questions to ensure we fully understand where and how we can help make your packaging as sustainable as possible, according to your budget and timeframes.

Material selection and innovative design

Over the past decade, the global packaging industry has enjoyed strong growth, driven by the expansion of new end-markets and the creation of innovative new substrates.

The use of single-use-plastics increased exponentially thanks to consumers demand for ‘convenience’ and this, coupled with the poor management of packaging waste, resulted on a heavy burden on the environment. 

But the tides are quickly turning and we all have a responsibility to avoid this kind of waste. We work with packaging innovaters and market leading material suppliers to ensure your packaging or label is designed using some of the most technologically advanced and sustainable materials available.

Our parent company, Reflex, can advise on the most sustainable printing options, including water-based inks and adhesives and our unique end-to-end service ties all of this expertise together, which will save you time and money.

In addition, we are committed to presenting plastic-alternative options wherever possible. From linerless card packs, cardboard fruit punnets and sandwich skillets made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials.

Legal Information and OPRL

We are proud members of On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) and can advise you on the most compliant way to share your packaging’s recyclable credentials. With OPRL moving to a more binary approach; either recycle or don’t recycle there’s no room for ambiguity and our experienced artworkers are able to advise you on the legalities relating to this.

Sustainable packaging is no longer a clever USP – it’s absolutely essential.  Your design agency should be working with you to ensure your packaging is both beautiful and kind to the environment.

If they’re not, you need to chat with us!

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