Sustainable packaging is becoming more of a priority than ever as consumers everywhere realize the
importance of reducing their environmental footprint.
Single-use plastics are a thing of the past, and sleek, reusable packaging is a solution for the future.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
In most simple terms, sustainable packaging is any packaging that is better for the environment. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) defines excellent eco-friendly packaging as having the following criteria:
Does that seem overwhelming and impossible to implement for your product? Don't despair; as with most sustainability practices, making minor changes to packaging is much better than making none at all.
Stay with us here. We know that anything with the word analysis frequently causes the reader's eyes to glaze over. LCA is a very complex topic. It assesses what environmental impacts a product is having at every single stage. Those stages can involve:
The analysis estimates greenhouse has emissions or carbon footprint impact of the product across its lifecycle. The lower the carbon footprint, the better for the world!
In an ideal world, we would have all packaging be sustainable packaging. Still, in the current state of the world, specific industries can emphasize sustainable or reusable packaging more than others. For example, hospitals probably won't start shipping syringes in wooden packaging anytime soon. Three areas that are uniquely suited for eco-friendly packaging are cosmetics, alcohol, and food.
Sustainable and mainstream beauty brands are investing money in reducing their effects on the planet through reusable packaging and refillable containers. The Makeup by Mario Master Eye Collection Artist's Box is uniquely designed to contain an entire make-up routine. It is a stylish way for consumers to receive their products and serves a purpose in their homes in the future.
The glass component of alcohol packaging is frequently recycled and already serving up excellent sustainability practices. But how do we keep the glass from shattering? Some luxury brands are choosing beautiful custom bottle display units. Trust Me Vodka's interactive display case is both sustainable and interactive. A refreshing take on helping a product stand out on the shelf and in the home. Hint: read on to find out more about Retail Pak's involvement in this unique design!
Nobody wants a product with excess plastic to wind up in their homes or landfills. Sturia Caviar knew their luxury product deserved a luxurious custom packaging solution. The texture of the paperboard shell mimics the surface of fish skin to highlight the brand's history.
As we've learned, sustainability in packaging is about more than just the materials used.
Some packaging materials that will help lower your organization's or product's carbon footprint are:
These two are surprisingly solid and versatile. Please don't underestimate how fantastic it is for consumers to know how to recycle them! These materials are incredibly eco-friendly when using recycled variations of cardboard and paper and ensuring they come from responsibly managed forests.
Wood is a renewable resource, has a low carbon footprint, decomposes naturally in the environment without human interaction, and is reusable. All of these attributes make it a perfect candidate for luxury, custom packaging.
Ceramic packaging is made from natural, renewable materials and incorporates traditional craftsmanship. Hand-made packaging touches upon a part of sustainability that is rarely discussed: true sustainability also uplifts communities—a winning idea coupled with a beautiful product.
Do you always choose glass options over plastics when possible? You're not alone. Glass is super durable and 100% infinitely recyclable—a superhero in the sustainable packaging world.
The advantages of choosing to package an item sustainably are vast. We've looked at some of the most common ones for you.
Even the most fantastic idea in the world has some disadvantages. Thankfully for you, most of these are for our experts to handle, so you don't have to lose any sleep over them.
At Retail Pak, we are immensely proud of this collaboration with Trust Me Vodka. The box was produced using locally available birch wood. Dry sanding the box reinforced the delicate texture of the light yet durable wood. After buying the product, the consumer can manipulate the 39 individual wood pieces to reveal the LED-lit bottle—a masterpiece of sustainable craftsmanship that helps this luxury product stand out on the shelf.
Have we awakened your curiosity about the possibilities of sustainable packaging? We have been providing custom packaging solutions for small businesses and premium brands worldwide for 30 years. Our world-class team of designers, structural engineers, and logistics experts can't wait to hear from you. If you get in touch today, we can turn your idea into a fully realized product in just 45 days.