How To Design Eco Friendly Packaging
Most businesses are now aware of their environmental responsibilities in areas such as production, manufacturing, transport, and distribution – and an important aspect of that could be the packaging processes used for products. The more sustainable processes introduced to reduce environmental impact, the more benefit there is to both the business and achieving set environmental targets – here are some considerations regarding eco friendly packaging:
The main focus on making packaging more eco friendly is on the materials used in production. Traditionally, packaging has been produced using fossil fuels and through the polymerisation production method results in the substance known as virgin plastic. Bioplastics are a greener alternative and becoming more available – produced from natural materials such as starches, obtained from vegetables, casein which is a phosphorous-containing protein produced from milk, and pectin which is obtained from various fruits. Bioplastics can be treated as organic waste and are therefore recyclable, and introducing recycled content into the plastic blend further reduces the environmental impact of plastic packaging. Paper and board products are also ever more innovative with increasingly higher quality products now available using all kinds of raw materials such as seaweed and hemp. More luxury brands are now consciously choosing greener alternatives and recycled products for highly creative and innovative packaging solutions and to promote their products with a positive environmental message.
The purpose of packaging is twofold – firstly, to highlight and showcase the product, contained within the packaging, and to protect the contents during transportation. Distribution of the product covers different stages – from the initial production facility to, perhaps, an assembly point and from there to the warehouse or retailer. This journey can often necessitate secondary packaging – extra protection in the form of cardboard boxes or cartons, loose chips or pellets and plastic film – all these elements must be taken into account when estimating the overall environmental impact of any packed goods. Loading of the transportation also needs to be considered – making best use of the available capacity and reducing any empty spaces by using modular packing will help with more efficient transport. And finally, consider the weight of the load being transported – the heavier the weight the greater the amount of energy required to transport. Emissions from freight transport are a considerable portion of the environmental impact created.
Extending the lifespan of the packaging will help minimise the environmental impact of harmful waste – the longer the packaging can be used – and reused – the less packaging consumption is required. You can see many examples of reusable packaging being introduced such as shopping bags “for life”, coffee cups replaced with eco alternatives, even being recycled back into the production chain.
Improvements to recycling models are being introduced all the time – for example, many products would need different modes of recycling processes for different components of the one item. Production processes are now being used to enable an individual item to go through just a single recycling process eliminating the need for component separation and reducing the level of complexity needed for the recycling.
If you need any further information on more eco-friendly packaging then speak with a company that specialise in such issues – if you are looking for a packaging designer in Hampshire, or surrounding areas, then contact us at Greenhouse Graphics. We are an established and experienced eco-friendly printing company that will help you with advice and guidance on all aspects of eco friendly printing, including packaging, and offer a first class service to many companies in all business sectors.
Greenhouse Graphics – printing responsibly since 1993
Interpretation boards are extremely effective when done well. They can provide key information about a place that can stick with visitors for years to come. If you’re looking to produce some interpretation boards, consider Greenhouse Graphics for your next project.
We are an award winning, sustainable graphic communications company in Hampshire, specialising in design for print, commercial printing, digital services and signage display systems with install and fitting services. Offering our expertise sign printing in Basingstoke we are widely recognised for our sustainable printing to reduce the carbon footprint.
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