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Sustainable Packaging: A Fad or Fab?

With the increase of climate change and environmental pollution, many individuals and organizations have taken conscious measures to make efforts for a better future. One of these efforts is driving more sustainable packaging for brands and their products. Before we discuss the importance and rise of sustainable packaging in this article, let us define exactly what this type of packaging is and why has it suddenly emerged over the last few years.

Sustainable packaging is the packaging of products that are environmentally friendly that do not contribute further to pollution or depletion of natural resources. This involves the sourcing and development of the packaging as well as the packaging solution.

The environmental impact is almost nothing along with the ecological footprint of the packaging. A lot of brands have found innovative ways to support this. For example, packaging made from recycled paper or from natural material like seaweed, cornstarch and mushroom has been opted for by brands. Sustainable packaging can also be achieved by efficient management of the artwork. Technological help from software like Artwork Management Software drives towards this.

Why is sustainable packaging important?

It is no surprise that our environmental issues have taken a toll in recent years causing major organizations to recognize this destructive pattern. One of the most significant moments was when the United Nations started the #CleanSeas campaign at the Economist World Ocean Summit 2017. This was done to protect our oceans from plastic waste—since every year more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans. It was a major breakthrough towards sustainability and highlighted the need for it. Therefore, brands opting for sustainable options is important to our future. Conventional packaging can be very wasteful. It is also quite expensive. A lot of it uses plastic, a substance that has caused a crisis level destruction and causes major pollution on land and sea.

It is the reason our marine life is in a detrimental state. Most of it is non-biodegradable and very harmful. It is an essential decision to replace this type of material with biodegradable and recyclable material. Many materials used in conventional packaging can be health hazards and are not sustainable when it comes to raw material and fossil fuels.

Real-life companies serving as examples of change

Considering the facts and theories, along with a rising global environmental crisis, sustainable packaging can hardly be considered a fad. More and more people are becoming environmentally conscious which has led brands to opt for sustainable options. Many consumers are now pushing for sustainable packaging due to environmental causes. So opting for this type of packaging meets the customer demands that keep them loyal and happy.

The beer company Carlsberg that is globally renowned changed the design for their Snap Pack. The pack of four canned beers was no longer held together with a plastic ring but instead with glue that burns off when they are being recycled. The designers have also created a banner-like effect visually across the cans. A green fiber bottle is also in development under Carlsberg.

Puma is another leading brand that has opted for a more sustainable packaging option. They have partnered with Fuse Project to design more efficient packaging for their shoes, which does not create huge cardboard waste like more traditional shoe boxes. They have come up with a packaging they call “The Clever Little Bag.” It is an efficient, innovatively designed solution that uses at least 65% less cardboard than traditional shoe boxes.

Callaly is a feminine hygiene brand that has hired Design Bridge to design vibrant packages for their products. The packaging features bright colors and an outer box which fits inside a letterbox. It is designed with sustainable genius! The cardboard is recyclable and the wrappers are made of compostable material. They can break down naturally, as well as industrially.

Petit-Pli has been instrumental in dealing with the wasteful nature of fashion brands. They are a children’s brand that makes clothes from recycled fabric that stretches and grows and hence can be used up to four years. They worked with NB studio to extend their innovative sustainability to their packaging designs. The clothes are wrapped in tissue that is leftover from the process of fabric pleating and are packed in cardboard that can be refolded to make a jetpack toy!

Conclusion

Sustainable packaging is becoming a rising trend that is also serving a purpose in the environmental sphere. It is an earth-friendly alternative that is an important drive towards a greener world, expanding the innovative space for design.

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