Brands that are leading the way in adopting eco-friendly packaging are giving themselves an edge that is attractive to customers. It’s confronting to see images of turtles deformed by ocean waste, and the constant media focus on the crisis means that the marketplace has to transform its practices in response. It’s estimated that more than a million tons of waste comes from paper packaging, and more than 13 million tons of waste is a result of plastic packaging.
Shaun Bryce from Melbourne Packaging Supplies shares with us a number of companies that are exploring sustainable packaging design – and they’re getting it right.
The eco-friendly carrier – PUMA
Shoeboxes aren’t usually associated with waste, but they actually lead to millions of tons of waste annually. PUMA has been exploring more sustainable packaging for over a decade already. In 2010 they teamed up with Fuseproject to design packaging that cuts cardboard use by two thirds and carbon emissions by thousands of tons each year. The ‘Clever Little Bag’ doesn’t contain any plastic and is both recyclable and can be reused. The savings per year?
- 8,500 tons of paper
- 20 million megajoules of electricity
- 1 million liters of fuel oil
- 1 million liters of water.
The dog waste carriers – Poop Bags by Olive
Every time a pet owner takes their dog for a walk and allows them to leave behind their waste, they are adding to waterway pollution. It’s estimated that a third of waterway pollution comes from man’s best friend. Well trained owners will pick up the poop with a bag, but by doing so, introduce plastic waste into the environment issue. The 100% biodegradable poop bags from Olive are the ultimate solution. They are made from corn starch and vegetable oil and compost naturally within 40 days.
The sushi trays – Fune
Takeaway sushi is a real treat, but as the taste for this delicacy increases, restaurants have been faced with the need to use a lot of takeaway packaging. Fune (which means ship) is the answer. The packaging is made from biodegradable and recyclable cardboard that is PET coated. The chopsticks secure the box, so there’s no need for glue or plastic tape.
The shower friendly paper bottle – Ecologic and Seed Phytonutrients
The shower-friendly paper bottle is made from recyclable and compostable material using post-consumer recycled paper. Interlocking grooves hold it together so there’s no need for glue. An inner plastic lining makes it water-resistant, but again only food-grade recycled plastic is used. It’s economical for users too because the packaging collapses, meaning that every last drop of the product inside can be used.
The reusable bag – 60BAGs
This reusable bag is made from flax-viscose fabric. It decomposes two months after it is thrown away. The fiber is made from industrial waste and uses minimal energy during production. The biodegradable carrier bag can also be branded and used by a range of brands and industries.
The biodegradable champagne box – Veuve Clicquot
A sparkling example of innovation in sustainable packaging (using potato starch) was used for an eco-friendly packaging solution for Naturally Clicquot 2. The champagnes are packaged in biodegradable and recyclable containers. Most interesting is that are held together by Velcro. The packaging can, therefore, be used for other drinks.
The disposable tableware – Hampi Natural Tableware
This exciting solution is ideal for restaurants and food delivery businesses. It is made from fallen palm leaves. The single-use tableware and takeout containers are both biodegradable and compostable.
The plantable packaging – Pangea Organics
These plant-based beauty products came up with a great idea to turn their packaging into trees. By incorporating organic seeds, such as basil and amaranth, into the boxes, they created a solution to give the packaging a second life. Post-use the box can be soaked in water and then planted.
The newspaper egg carton – Marian Obando
This designer came up with an idea to make a basic egg carton from a sheet of old newspaper. The design is based on origami and creates a square basket with a piece acting as protective cushioning under the eggs. A strip of card is wrapped around it. This keeps it secure and provides place for details of the branding.
The light bulb packaging – GE Energy Efficient bulb
An energy-efficient lightbulb needs packaging that adheres to the same sustainable values as the product. Bulbs are known for their excessive use of plastic in their packaging, as they are so fragile. This design by Esther Li offered a simple but very effective solution using only a strip of recyclable cardboard. The k-shaped structure has a hole in the middle that creates a space for the bulb to rest. It is fully secure and doesn’t require any plastic to protect the eco bulb any further. It is also stackable and displays the bulb effectively. The branding is simply printed on the cardboard.
Phil Edwards is an Outreach Specialist for Melbourne Packaging Supplies. Our goal is as with quality comes reliability & safety.