Consumers are more conscious than ever about their impact on the planet. From where they eat to the clothes they wear, there isn’t any area that isn’t under the eco-microscope right now — and packaging is no different.
Here are nine of the best sustainable packaging ideas to help get you started on your own environmentally-conscious journey.
- Plantable Packaging
- Edible Packaging
- Anti-Microbial Packaging
- Intelligent Packaging
- Cellulose Packaging
- Eco-Friendly Materials
- Combining Functionality With Sustainability
1. Plantable Packaging
Packaging doesn’t need just to have one use. You can combine the eye-catching elements of beautiful packaging and sustainability with plantable packaging. Pangea Organics is a great example you can follow of innovative, sustainable packaging the rest of the world will eventually catch up to.
The brand has created soap packaging containing spruce tree seeds. Consumers just need to soak it in water, plant it in the ground and let the seeds work their magic. An effortless and innovative way to reduce waste is through packaging.
Check out the example above. Despite using sustainable materials, it doesn’t lose its impact or appeal and still manages to get all relevant information across.
2. Edible Packaging
Looking to the future, edible packaging is a sustainable trend to look out for. No recycling and no waste — this is where biodegradability begins and ends with you. It’s different, fun and better for the planet.
If you want to be more innovative with your sustainable packaging efforts, just look at Loliware Cups, who create a wide range of flavoured cups you can eat. Plenty of brands are following in their footsteps too, such as Evoware and Cupfee.
The latter is known for its delicious coffee cup that you can eat while guzzling down your fix of rocket fuel. Check it out in action below.
Bioplastics aren’t naturally available and not all are biodegradable. If you want to go down the bioplastic route for your packaging, innovators like At10 are a great inspiration to learn from.
This design studio from Rekjavik has manufactured meat packaging using animal skin to reduce meat consumption waste. It’s known as Bioplastic Skin, which looks identical to plastic in look and feel and is used as packaging for meat products like ham slices and hot dogs.
It’s created by boiling animal skin in water to release gelatin and collagen. This makes a gel substance which can mould into pretty much any shape before it sets and is used as packaging.
Whether it’s history or the future, Japanese culture is a source of inspiration for pretty much anything — and sustainable packaging is no different.
Although Furoshiki is more down the gift wrapping route, the concept works here. It’s about ditching wrapping paper and the single-use waste that comes with it by using cloth fabric instead.
This is an excellent sustainable packaging example you could adopt as you could pass the cloth on as a gift, re-use it or even turn it into something like a hat, scarf or bag. It also taps perfectly into traditional Japanese values, such as showing consideration for the planet.
5. Anti-Microbial Packaging
One of the biggest culprits in failing to be sustainable is food waste. People are consuming more than ever, which means more is wasted. That’s why the future of sustainable packaging will feature anti-microbial packaging to increase shelf lives.
Morrison’s is a supermarket chain that has already adopted this trend. With technology designed to prevent bacteria growth and remove degrading organisms, Morrison’s has lined its reusable bags to stop bacteria from growing.
If you’re in the food and drinks industry and need to keep them lasting longer, anti-perish packaging needs to be high on your list.
6. Intelligent Packaging
QR codes on packaging are a thing of the past. Although they were game-changing at one stage, an innovative sustainable packaging idea that will dominate in the future is intelligent packaging that indicates the freshness of its contents.
It works best in food, as this type of packaging — created from sustainable materials — prevents food poisoning and waste by displaying how fresh the food is. It can apply to anything, from medicine to make-up and indicate how much bacteria is growing, the temperature and more.
7. Cellulose Packaging
Plastic isn’t easy to replicate, so the search is still ongoing for a suitable, sustainable alternative. In the future, expect to see cellulose become a better alternative. Made from hemp, cotton and wood, it’s a biodegradable and compostable option — while durability means it’s perfect for food packaging.
8. Eco-Friendly Materials
Eco-friendly materials are being used today, but expect to see more of them as companies search for sustainable packaging ideas in the future.
Cornstarch and Kraft paper are two types on the rise — alongside other initiatives such as using fewer materials in total and offering returnable packaging.
9. Combining Functionality With Sustainability
Sleeves are arguably the best option for food items due to the amount of packaging used. But that doesn’t mean it’s always an environmentally friendly option, as you need to think about factors like the paper, its source, printing methods and more.
That’s what B&B Press helped Feel Good Kitchen with. The brand wants to do its part for the planet, so it’s only right the food sleeves we supplied ticked that box too.
The future of sustainable packaging is about making sure the finished product is good for the planet but without compromising on aesthetics, functionality and the final impact.
We produced printed cardboard sleeves made from certified FSC card, which is fully recyclable and carbon balanced to further complement the brand values. Printing quickly switched from digital to LED UV to give the best results possible for quality and value.
Our LED UV gives vibrant results, which really makes the packaging pop — an important factor for a start-up that wants to be noticed.
Find out more about the challenge Feel Good Kitchen faced, our solution and the outcomes by clicking the button below.