As our planet slowly drowns in plastic pollution, sustainable plastic packaging is what we need now, more than ever. Over the years, single-use plastics have become an integral part of our daily lives, and the rate of plastic production is out of control, with an estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year. As consumers become more eco-conscious, sustainable packaging is in high demand.
Consumers are more than ever influenced by environmental factors when making purchasing decisions. They want to know the material composition, the level of recyclability, the carbon footprint and the post use impact on the environment and landfill when buying packaging products.
These factors have become as important as the appearance and functionality of the product.
Based on this information, it is important that packaging designers and manufacturers take note of these behavioural changes and ensure that their products cater to the new, eco-friendly decision-making criteria consumers look for and are influenced by.
What is sustainable packaging design?
Its designing packaging with sustainability in mind to ensure that throughout the product life cycle the packaging causes as little harm to the environment as possible.
Ways to ‘WOW’ consumers with sustainable packaging
The Designers Role
First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the designer to keep sustainability and visual appeal top of mind during the design phase, showing consumers that sustainable packaging can still be aesthetically pleasing and functionally capable. Design plays a very important role as it is your product’s first point of contact with the consumer, therefore, it can be a crucial factor when making a purchase. Not only does effective design let the consumer make decisions faster and easier, but an eye-catching look can also draw consumer attention and set you visually apart from competitors.
Attractive packaging is just as important as the quality of product inside!
Share with consumers your sustainability efforts and how your packaging can minimise waste in the environment.
The most effective ways to minimise waste is to use existing waste to make new products (Recycle), to reduce the number of resources being used in existing packaging or the manufacturing process (Reduce), to improve the usability of existing packaging (Reuse) and/or to come up with alternative packaging solution using more sustainable materials (Rethink).
Consumers are influenced by innovation and trends; and illustrating how your new packaging is reducing its impact on the environment greatly influences their buying behaviour. For example, plastic packaging with recyclates or “bio-plastics” have a lower carbon footprint than other mainstream alternatives. They use less energy and water in their manufacturing process, distribution, and recycling than glass, paper, and aluminium. Empowering consumers with this information can help them make a better-informed decision on which products to buy that is best for the environment.
Design for recycling
Sorting, processing, and recycling systems within each country have a significant influence on the efficacy of the packaging being recycled. Designers need to fully understand the recycling eco-system of how their packaging is being handled pre- and post-consumer use. In doing so, new packaging products can be designed and manufactured to improve and promote recycling efforts.
The more eco-focused the design and packaging is to the recycling eco-system, the higher the chances that consumers will be persuaded to purchase the product as it allows consumers to feel like they are doing their part in the global fight against plastic waste and pollution.
What matters to us at Plastic Bubbles
At Plastic Bubbles, we understand the importance of creating visually appealing and sustainable packaging, made for your brand to stand out. We always consider the way in which our products are designed and produced, ensuring that we leave as small a footprint as possible.
Please join us on our journey to spread the word on sustainable packaging, how to make eco-conscious decisions when purchasing, and the ways in which we can all contribute to reducing, re-using, and recycling as much waste as possible.
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If you found this blog post interesting, read our July Blog Post – A world without plastic. Newsflash, it may not be as favorable as what we thought.