DesignPackaging

That's a wrap

Saying goodbye to plastic and hello to sustainability. 

With the world woken up to the danger and damage our insatiable appetite for plastic has caused, a few brands are leading the way in sustainability, with innovative packaging ideas that benefit the environment as well as their bottom line. We took a look at the current state of packaging and at the businesses who are paving the way towards a more sustainable future.

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Above: Soapack, a sustainable take on toiletry bottles made entirely out of vegetable oil-based soap coated with a thin layer of beeswax for waterproofing. Created by Mi Zhou, a postgraduate at Central Saint Martins in London.

With the world’s plastic problem reaching critical levels, the need for a more responsible approach to packaging can’t be understated. But this is easier said than done, and with costly transitions and the perceived expensive nature of utilising more sustainable packaging solutions, the trend towards sustainability seems to be a slow burn. Fortunately, some brands are pioneering and proving that sustainable packaging solutions may not just be the right thing to do – they may also be right for your profits too.

A great number of businesses are following a Circular Supply Chain Model – this means that packaging can either be reprocessed infinitely or repurposed as raw material for other products. These are bold solutions but still have certain drawbacks, like the need for the plastic to be deposited or picked up after use. So what if we could eat our packaging instead? A number of brands have invested in R&D for alternative packaging solutions that could revolutionise how products are packaged and delivered. This has seen a number of materials identified, like edible packaging and tech that utilises mushroom roots to create a material with the same quality as plastic. A number of New Zealand businesses are also leading the way, like our client Mountain Jade who have utilised recycled card and stone-paper packaging to reduce their environmental impact.

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Above: From Peel to Peel, a project created by Emma Sicher in which she has formulated a substrate out of SCOBYs that can be used for two types of products, single-use tableware and packaging, both of which are biodegradable and leave no trace.

With over a third of consumers now choosing to buy products that utilise sustainable packaging, this trend is only set to continue. As it does, so does the market value to businesses of jumping on-board and boldly innovating to face a shared global challenge.

 Article adapted: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/most-plastic-packaging-is-unrecycled-that-has-to-change/