As environmental concerns continue to influence the consumer market, organisations have a significant responsibility to address global warming and climate change through more sustainable business practices. For businesses dealing in the sale and distribution of goods, packaging is a key environmental concern. To address the environmental impact of packaging, businesses are seeking out more innovative, and eco-friendly solutions.
In this article, we will showcase five innovative examples of sustainable packaging designs that are helping businesses to reduce waste and promote environmental responsibility. From biodegradable and compostable packaging to lightweight and reusable packaging, these solutions are helping businesses deliver a more sustainable future for all.
1. Plantable packaging
Plantable packaging is becoming a popular solution for the packaging of goods such as food, and personal care products. Made from materials that can be planted and grown into plants or vegetation, plantable packaging is an innovative way to reduce waste, and conserve natural resources without having to compromise on design or functionality.
An example of plantable packaging is seed paper. Seed paper is a plantable material made from recycled paper that has seeds embedded in it. When the paper is planted in a soil or hydroponic substrate, the seeds germinate and grow into plants. This packaging is a great alternative to traditional packaging materials, such as plastic, which can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.
2. Reusable and multifunctional packaging
Designing packaging that’s functional beyond its primary use, is an innovative way for businesses to reduce unnecessary waste and encourage consumers to do the same.
Depending on the market, and what products are being sold, there are many innovative ways businesses can design multi-functional packaging. Here are some inventive examples:
- Companies selling clothing cardboard packaging that can be folded into a clothes hanger for future use.
- Food companies could package their goods in hemp fabric bags or glass containers, which can be kept after the goods have been opened and used as storage containers or shopping bags.
3. Minimal packaging design
Another simple yet innovative way businesses are designing more sustainable packaging, is through the use of minimal or lightweight packaging. Lightweight packaging is a term used to describe packaging that requires fewer materials to produce and is made to measure the product/s in order to reduce resource consumption and waste. By using fewer materials, the packaging itself becomes lighter, making it easier to recycle, and more energy-efficient to produce and transport.
4. Biodegradable packaging
Biodegradable packaging is now becoming the standard for many organisations as an alternative to traditional, less sustainable packaging solutions such as plastic. Unlike plastic, which can take hundreds of years to break down, biodegradable packaging is made from materials such as paper, cardboard, bamboo, and hemp which naturally decompose over time. Biodegradable packaging is not only more sustainable to manufacture but is also more sustainable to dispose of, with these materials being safe to recycle and compost.
5. Sustainable printing inks
One component many organisations overlook when designing eco-friendly packaging is the printing inks used on the packaging. It is all well and good having recyclable packaging materials, but if they are printed on with petroleum-based inks, they will ultimately no longer be truly sustainable.
To tackle this issue, many businesses are using soy and vegetable-based inks, to print their designs onto packaging. These inks are just as effective as traditional petroleum-based inks but don’t release harmful organic compounds that can have negative environmental and human health effects. In addition to this, natural inks like soy, are easy to de-ink, making them suitable for recycling.
The environmental benefits don’t stop there: soy ink is also four times more biodegradable. Last but not least, soy ink spreads further, reducing ink costs and waste.
Sustainable packaging from Swiftpak
As a Certified B-Corporation, at Swiftpak we care about the environment and reduce our environmental impact as much as possible whilst also helping our customers do the same. Swiftpak has a variety of solutions to help customers reach their sustainability targets. Our aim is to help our customers make informed decisions to support their efforts to create a better tomorrow.
With our expertise and 45 years of experience, we have guided a huge variety of businesses in different industries on their best options for eco-friendly and sustainable packaging. Feel free to contact our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help you.