Sustainable packaging is the latest trend these days, with more and more companies trying to develop the best, most sustainable designs in order to be successful. Undoubtedly, competition is on the rise as brands try to outdo each other in terms of design, so how can you make sustainable packaging designs stand out?

Consider Life-Cycle Approach

As you plan your packaging design, consider any good life-cycle assessment tool that is available. Life-cycle assessment tools help designers to understand the environmental impacts of various packaging solutions, enabling users to make better and more informed material selections as design decisions are based on guidance from environmental indicators. Designs developing from life-cycle tools offer a greater variety of results.

Evaluating Components

It’s also important to evaluate different components of the packaging during the design stage and ask yourself a specific question: can the design be changed easily to a lesser packaging material without compromising the integrity of products? Such an evaluation will help in implementing changes to the packaging material, without compromising on material or product quality. Today, suppliers continue to be innovative with containers, caps, label design and other components that help in improving the package to product ratio.

Newer Alternatives

Today, newer machines and improved material technology are used in packaging manufacturing that enable sustainable packaging. Advances in machinery and technology has led to smaller quantities of material being used in packaging, meaning shelf-ready packages can be produced in an attractive and cost-effective manner. Lesser material can be used when manufacturing pallets, bundles and multipacks, with numerous options available when looking for sustainable packaging in the form of palletising and wrapping. Special machines have even been developed to optimise muse – the film transfer technique. Newer alternatives in packaging make sustainable designs an increased reality.

Reusable Packaging

Sustainable packaging has to be environmentally friendly. Manufacturers should always be looking for opportunities to make their packaging reusable, so that products can be reused once their main purpose has been fulfilled. A recent example of reusable packaging design is special pizza boxes. The design allowed the box to be easily broken down to form plates, and could also be turned into smaller boxes for leftovers. This is an interesting packaging design with multiple uses that is functional, interesting and offers great reusable value, making it stand out from other designs.

Changes in Design

Any sustainable packaging design should offer scope for changes in product. The household cleaning industry has undergone several changes in order to accommodate sustainable packaging. Today, cleaning products are packaged in refill boxes or in reusable packaging. These design advancements mean you don’t always have to buy a brand new product every time you finish the washing detergent, for example; you simply need to refill it. Refill boxes have had a huge, positive impact on the environment, reducing packaging costs and limiting product wastage at the same time. Sustainable packaging designs should look to do exactly this.


Recyclable Designs

Sustainable packaging should always consider recyclability. Some common packaging materials that can be easily recycled include PET and paper, yet there are many products with labels, coatings and other elements that cannot be recycled. In these cases, the packaging as a whole is not suitable for recycling – detrimental to eco-friendly packaging design. Sustainable packaging designs today should ideally focus on recyclable materials, so that the finished packaging material is entirely recyclable.


Using these tips and ideas to develop more sustainable packaging can make your brand stand out from the crowd, helping you to stay at the forefront of innovation in the packaging industry.