Expensive and exotic packaging is a huge part of modern consumerism.

Manufacturers know that many purchasing decisions we make are based on the attractiveness of good packaging. This means they are prepared to spend a lot of time and money creating eye-catching designs that will stand out from the crowd.

However there is a heavy cost to this process. Although packaging is useful it does account for millions of tons of waste every year. Some of this is recycled but the majority of it does go straight to landfill. This is a huge waste of vital environmental resources.

The Future of Packaging

As we become more aware of our impact on the environment the high costs of packaging is becoming a major issue. A large number of consumers are now actively choosing the more eco-friendly alternative when they shop by opting for packaging that can be recycled. This means that for manufacturers it is now more possible than every to take a “greener” approach to packaging whilst still meeting their marketing objectives. The new trend in sustainable packaging is rapidly growing and spreading throughout the food, clothing and general goods markets.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is designed to reduce wastage and conserve important resources. There are three main elements to this:

  • Reduce — a large percentage of the time packaging is designed to be larger than really necessary. Manufacturers use this technique to make products appear bigger than they actually are and also to make them more eye-catching. However this is a main cause of wastage. Simply by reducing the size of packaging a vast amount of paper, cardboard and plastic can be saved every year.
  • Reuse — many modern materials can only be used once. This means they have to then go straight to landfill once throw away. By selectively choosing materials that can be reused manufacturers can contribute greatly to reducing wastage. For example paper products can be reused successfully up to 7 different times.
  • Recycle — by recycling materials we can make sure they are reintroduced into the industrial chain and reused for another purpose. This helps to reduce the strain on the planet’s fragile resources and save on wastage. When we recycle materials such as paper, plastic and glass we can are actively working to reduce landfill and conserve valuable materials.

The Costs of Sustainable Packaging

Finding new ways to package goods can be costly but the benefits are there. Materials are getting more and more expensive these days. By cutting back on packaging size manufacturers can not only reduce wastage but they can also cut costs on the production line significantly. Also customers are actively seeking out sustainable packaging. By choosing this option it can be possible to gain an edge over competitors.

Another important point is that environmental issues are here to stay. The government can no longer afford to ignore the monumental task of cutting wastage and conserving resources. This means that in the future it is likely that more incentives will be provided for manufacturers that do present eco-friendly measures such as sustainable packaging.

Take steps now towards reducing landfill and protecting the planet’s resources by choosing sustainable packaging when you shop or design your packaging.


About JARED KIDDER- Packaging Specialist

I am a dedicated packaging professional who strives to find sustainable packaging solutions for my clients. I enjoy many activites including reading, writing, art, sports, travel, and experiencing new things. Spending time with my yellow lab, Jack, and with my wife, Anne, are my very favorite activities.

Posted on July 25, 2011, in Design & Creative, Futures & Trends, Sustainable Packaging. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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