Sustainable Packaging Resolutions for 2020
2020 is now underway and we’ve done a bit of reflecting. Sustainability is the new buzz word, and for good reason. Between the oversized, over wrapped packaging accumulating from our endless Amazon Prime orders and heaps of Christmas preparations, the holidays aren’t always cheerful for the planet. Thankfully, sustainable packaging alternatives are actually proving more cost-effective for brands, and definitely more attractive to the consumer.
“When asked about the most important factor in making decisions about packaging, 37% said being environmentally friendly, followed by quality (25%) with brand value communication (13%) surprisingly coming in third.” Packaging Europe
This past year, we’ve noticed both new startups and established brands alike are cutting back on waste by simplifying their branding and packaging, and going eco.
New Year New Packaging
We’ve compiled a naughty or nice list of last year’s brands who have really changed their sustainable game with stand out packaging design and those killer habits we definitely need to kick. You can also see how your own brand is measuring up by checking out our sustainability resolutions at the bottom of this article.
The Nice List
Going Au Naturale With Natural Branding
Now that single use plastic is on the way out, brands are having to think of creative solutions to getting their design onto fresh produce. By laser cutting your branding into your product or packaging, you can avoid a sticky label situation. Plus, a laser cutting tool is a much longer lasting investment than a few rolls of sticker labels. A few Swedish and Dutch supermarkets have started using this method on their fresh produce.
Waterproof Your Paper Bottles
Plastic bottles are being replaced with paper alternatives, and you will probably have noticed cardboard cartons popping up more often on store shelves. Water resistant paper bottles are an eco-friendly option to consider if you are branding a new drink or beauty product. L’Oreal’s Seed Phytonutrients is a sustainable skincare brand using shower-friendly paper that is both recyclable and compostable. Boxed Water is pushing ‘Boxed Water Is Better’ and is a fully recyclable, sustainable swap for plastic bottles.
Find Plastic Look-Alikes
Festive foods getting packaged up into compostable cellulose film made from wood pulp? Yummy. On a serious note though, Selfridges changed their game this past festive season with their switch to sustainable Christmas packaging and it’s a delight to see. Look into plastic alternatives for food products without compromising on shelf life.
Even The Guardian has turned their newspaper wrapping from plastic into potato based wrapping that is compostable. Who says little parcels of journalistic joy can’t be mindfully wrapped too?
If You Can’t Beat Em, Use Em
More brands are using recycled materials to package up their products. Coca Cola is using plastic found in oceans to make their bottles. They recovered marine plastics and successfully produced 300 sample bottles. When working on a smaller scale, brands be more in tune with their local community. Is there a material to be used there? Even if the tech is out of reach for now, you would be surprised what brilliant ideas come from this kind of brainstorm.
Tides Turning Towards Eco-Boxes
Plastic beverage bottles aren’t the only things getting a makeover this year. Thinking out of the box with larger containers sometimes means going back into the box. P&G are ditching the bottle for bag-in-a-box reimagining of their liquid detergent. The box even includes pull-out cardboard legs to heighten it and make it easier for dispensing detergent into the cup. An eco-box like this ships in its own container and has a much lighter shipping footprint.
The Naughty List
Avoid these sustainable packaging mistakes to stay on track with your New Year sustainability resolutions.
Brits are estimated to have thrown out 108 million roles of Christmas wrapping paper this past year. 277,000 miles of the stuff has ended up in landfills. That’s more than the average distance to the moon.
What about trying recycled brown paper, fabric, fabric gift bags or some old newspaper next time? All of which can make for quite Pinterest worthy DIY packaging for company gifting.
Eco-friendly, recycled paper options for business cards are getting easier to come by these days, and printing locally can hugely cut down on environmental effect as well as cost.
Other companies are opting for seed paper. Made from cotton pulp and plantable seeds, these business cards can be planted by your clients and serve as a lovely reminder of your brand when they pass the newest addition to the office plants. Let’s just hope they note down your details first!
Over-Egged the Packaging
E-Commerce is one of the fastest growing industries today and the Boxing Day boom has continued to grow each year. Ordering next-day delivery on Amazon straight to the office is just so easy to do. These guys at Mason Companies have helped solve this issue with a fit-to-size packing machine that builds custom-sized boxes for individual products that save on materials and their cost.
Wanting to move in a sustainable direction for the new year? Check out this New Year’s resolutions checklist and see where you can make improvements for your business and products in 2020.
Extinction Rebellion is definitely one of the leaders of the sustainability pack, and when it comes to their merch we think they’ve hacked it.
Rather than printing posters, t-shirts and what-have-you’s, Extinction Rebellion offers wood blocking at protests. All you have to do is bring an old t-shirt or tote bag. Not only does this encourage the recycling of materials and promotes a more sustainable production process, but the hands-on experience is also longer lasting than a quick ‘add to basket’.
Materials: Is your packaging recyclable? Can it be recycled curbside? You want the least amount of mixed materials as possible and embrace clear glass, cardboard, unwaxed paper, and aluminium.
Minimalism: The less silly extras, the better! Scrap the inserts and simplify the use of colour on your labels, boxes, and bottles. Also, keeping your product as light as possible means less CO2 emissions during production and transportation.
Efficiency: Most importantly, your packaging has to work. Being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to create problems with how easy it is to use.
Innovation: You still have the chance to wow your customers because the sustainable packaging route is still largely unexplored. Can your packaging be reused or refilled by the customer? Have your explored innovative concepts like plant-based inks and plastics or renewables in manufacturing?
Design: And of course, your product still needs to be enticing, easy to read, and totally functional.
We would love to support you and your business with innovative, sustainable solutions for packaging. Let’s chat through it. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org