A Sustainable Design Blog
A Checklist for Sustainable Packaging
Yesterday I listened to a fantastic webinar on Packaging Sustainability from the 2 Degrees Network featuring Katherine O’Dea of Green Blue. Among her many statistics, she laid out how different companies in her survey measure sustainable packaging. The list she gave provides a great checklist for other companies attempting to reduce their impact. So here’s her list as well as some suggestions of how to improve those particular metrics.
- Resize package to better fit the contents.
- Change the die/press sheet layout and size to make the best use of the printed page.
- Switched to a lower weight paper or thinner plastic package.
- Shred test sheets and cut waste to use as packing material.
Increase Recycled Content
- Source recycled content plastic tubes. (like this one)
- Switch to 100% PCW paper.
- Source production from energy efficient or alterative energy powered facilities.
- Use materials that are green power certified.
Increase Recycling Rates
- Include a more informative recycling label on your package design.
- Redesign to avoid non-recyclables like small plastic lids and blended raw materials.
- Recycle waste water, or better yet figure out how to prevent it.
- Ask your manufacturer to verify that the ingredients of your materials do not cause environmental degredation.
- Find a packaging manufacturer close to your product manufacturer.
- Use a fulfillment company (or companies) located in your primary market.
Increasing Renewable Materials Use
- Use paper made of agri-fiber instead of trees (cause trees are most beneficial left in the ground).
- Design for reuse and refilling. Then tell consumers to refill on your packaging.
Obviously there are millions of way to improve packaging, so this is just to get you thinking. If you have any more to add, please comment below. I'd love to hear your ideas.
Jennifer Stewart is the Office Manager and wanna-be organizational psychologist at Modern Species. For more posts from her, click here.