Sustainable packaging

By Lorrin Windahl.

When we think of product packaging we often think of polystyrene foam, cardboard and plastic bags. All of which when you have unwrapped the product go into the garbage or, at best, the recycling bin. But this is an area of design that is changing with designers looking towards more sustainable materials and using less of them.

Polystyrene foam could be the reason for this shift. A highly contentious topic – EPS foam or styrofoam, as it is commonly known, has become the PVC of the packaging industry. Already banned in several countries around the world, polystyrene foam reportedly produces toxic chemicals during production, can leach into the food that is packaged inside, can be found floating in many of our waterways (often choking animals who think it is food) and takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Any of these factors alone is surely reason enough to look to alternative materials.

Here are some clever designs that use more sustainable materials and minimise the amount of material used. They get the thumbs up from me.

Plantic compostable chocolate tray

Plantic home compostable chocolate tray

Dell bamboo pulp packaging

Dell bamboo pulp packaging

Westinghouse light globe packaging

Westinghouse light globe packaging

Packaging that turns into a coat hanger

Packaging that turns into a coat hanger

Duracell battery packaging

Duracell battery packaging

Light globe packaging

Light globe packaging

Ebay reusable sending box

Ebay reusable sending box

60 day bag - biodegrades in 60 days

60 day bag – biodegrades in 60 days

Paper pulp fabric softener bottle

Paper pulp fabric softener bottle

2 Comments on “Sustainable packaging

  1. Hi

    We are interested in packaging our sports apparel (socks) in environmentally friendly material.

    Could you suggest something for us consistent with the 60 day biodegradable bag that will allow display of our product from the outside.

    Appreciate your time in advance

    Like

    • Hi Andrew
      I’d suggest looking at a clear film which is both compostable (in home compost) and transparent so you can see your product. Plantic offer materials like this that break down with the addition of water. They are most commonly used for boxed chocolate trays. My understanding is that their materials can be thermoformed, vacuum formed and even injection moulded.
      I’m afraid I haven’t come across any textiles other that meet your requirements. Felt is a great material as it is renewable. You might try the Materia website as they might have a new textile that fits your requirements.
      Also pulp might be an option. You can get a bamboo pulp which is renewable and provides a higher quality finish than more commonly used paper pulp.
      I hope this helps.
      Lorrin

      Like

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