Get Creative with Package Design While Remaining in Line With Sustainability Goals
Consumers are demanding that brands take action to combat climate change. There is a lot that brands can do to offset their carbon footprint and decrease their environmental impact, one sustainable practice is using environmentally friendly packaging when shipping products.
Sustainable packaging includes using compostable, reusable, or recyclable material instead of traditional packaging material that is petroleum-based and does not break down naturally in the environment.
Sustainable packaging design encompasses a wide variety of materials and strategies that depend on your brand’s needs. Below are some tips on how to approach sustainable packaging design and reduce your supply chain's carbon footprint.
Your Product Comes First
When designing product packaging with sustainability in mind, remember that it's all about what goes inside. Your package design needs to protect your product first and foremost. If you use sustainable packaging that does not protect your product, you may be creating more packaging waste by having to return or discard damaged products.
Avoid damages by choosing packages that support and protect your product. Depending on the product, this could mean you choose a cardboard box instead of a plastic bag.
Sustainable Packaging Material Matters
There are many sustainable packaging material options. When designing your environmentally friendly packaging, make sure you are choosing the most sustainable material option for your brand and product. If you decide to use materials made from post-consumer waste like recycled plastic or paper products, verify its sustainability through resources like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
For packaging to be truly eco-friendly, the entire process must promote sustainability. If you decide to use an organic or raw material, like mushroom fiber or algae, confirm that the material was sourced responsibly by looking for organic or non-GMO certifications.
When possible, design recyclable packaging. This includes the labels, tape, or protective filler material that a package may use. Oftentimes, these additional materials can have a plastic coating that makes them difficult for recycling. Smart Planet Technologies uses plastic packaging made with Earth-Coating, which uses 40-51% less plastic and can be pulped into recycled material.
Concise Messaging is Key
When designing your sustainable packaging, think about the message you want to send. Select sustainable packaging that amplifies your brand’s vision and mission. Emphasize your brand’s packaging sustainability efforts through marketing and design.
Once you’ve selected a sustainable packaging solution, understand how to dispose of the material. Is it biodegradable packaging or reusable packaging? Is recycling the best disposal method? Clear symbols and labels help direct the consumer to proper disposal methods and ensure sustainability from start to finish.
Keep in mind other materials you may need in your packaging solution and how those materials are disposed of as well. For example, if your packaging is made from recyclable material, consider using tape, labels, or protective filler material that is also intended for recycling to streamline the disposal process on the consumer’s end.
Let's Assess Your Sustainable Packaging Needs
Before committing to environmentally friendly packaging, use Group O’s SMART Audit to assess your brand’s packaging needs. Using too much unnecessary plastic? Inefficient supply chain production process causing more waste? Group O will help reduce your supply chain's carbon footprint by providing innovative and practical solutions for sustainable packaging.
With so many options for sustainable design in the packaging industry, it can be difficult to know where to start. Group O can help you assess your needs and strategize a new, sustainable solution for your packaging design. Call 866-476-8761