In a recent article on the BXP magazine, author Keith Loria discuss how brands who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint should look to their packaging as way to help achieve this. He interviews brand and packaging designers for advice.
Below we summarise the keys points and add some Dollard Packaging advice also.
Not every company understands the dynamics of designing packaging that leaves a smaller footprint on the environment.
The author speaks to Jessica Wells, marketing manager for US-based Morgan Chaney LLC, a packaging company that specializes in branded packaging for retail and restaurants, recommends that businesses partner with a packaging supplier that can help guide them in the right decision towards eco-friendly packaging design and materials. “When designing packaging, you want to focus on optimizing your design to use less raw material, opting to use recycled materials in the manufacturing of your design whenever possible, and ensuring that your end-product is either recyclable or reusable,” she says.
Jessica Wells explains she helped a client of hers to design sustainable eCommerce packaging for their products. The products could have been packaged in large boxes with interior plastic cushion materials.
However, having examined the sustainable options, fully recyclable custom mailing boxes with custom cardboard inserts were created to hold products in place and eliminate the need for plastic materials.
Elaine Palutsis, senior designer for VSA Partners, a US based hybrid design and brand experience firm, understands today’s consumers expect brands to do more than just sell products; they expect them to be socially conscious and ethically aware. Therefore, using sustainable materials and always designing packaging with zero or minimal waste in mind is a good way to show your customers that your brand is committed to protecting the environment too. She recommends replacing any plastic packaging with paper or cardboard alternatives as plastic can be difficult for consumers to recycle.
The author also spoke to Eric Rhyner of SML Group who stated that one way to do reduce carbon footprint is by right-sizing and light weighting all packaging to be as small and as thin as possible to perform the task.
He gives an example of right-sizing and light weighting packaging for a client who sell men’s underwear. The new lighter and smaller cartons were tested in simulated transit testing and mock merchandising conditions to ensure that the new cartons were still fit for purpose. The packaging was reduced in thickness by 12%, ultimately allowing their client to not only reduce the carbon footprint but save money on their packaging.
Dollard Packaging advice: Testing both the proposed structure and proposed board for your carton is an extremely important process and one that must be carried out before you engage a graphic designer. Adequate testing will ensure your carton is sustainable and is fit for purpose right through its life cycle.
All three of the designers that the author spoke to agree that it is vital that brands actively and clearly promote their sustainability actions on their packaging and make recycling advocacy part of their brand culture. For example, printing fully recycling instructions on the packaging is one way to demonstrate this.
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