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4 Ways to Wow Your Customers with Sustainable Packaging Design

Thanks to climate activists like the legendary David Attenborough, people are paying more attention to environmental issues than ever before. This has led to an increased demand for responsibly sourced goods, local produce and recyclable materials amongst British buyers.

As a result, more and more brands are taking steps to transform their offering and align with their customers’ values. Ready to reduce your carbon footprint and wow your customers with sustainable packaging design? Learn how below.

Sustainable packaging design ideas

Avoid single use plastic where possible

Studies have found that unless we take action soon, the amount of plastic waste in the ocean could triple by 2040. However, scientists believe that this could be reduced by up to 80% if we reduce plastic production and choose alternative materials. 

As a business owner, you should consider whether your product needs to be wrapped in plastic or if a more eco-friendly material would work. If not, try to use 100% recycled plastic packaging or plant-based plastics that are compostable. Bioplastics are also good as they release fewer gases as they break down.

Choose recyclable packaging materials

Instead of plastic, cardboard is a great option when it comes to sustainable packaging design. Not only is cardboard biodegradable and easy for customers to recycle, it’s also usually made from leftover paper pulp to reduce waste. 

Corrugated cardboard boxes are strong and sturdy, making them ideal for reuse. Plastic mailers can be replaced with cardboard alternatives and shredded paper scraps can be used to create padding for fragile items.

And, as 54% of consumers actively look for recycling information on packaging, we’d highly recommend printing disposal information onto your chosen box or carton.  

Ship items in smaller packages

We’re sure all online shoppers have experienced the frustration of receiving a small item in an oversized box. While cardboard can be recycled, it still takes energy and water to do so. Choosing snug packaging that requires fewer padding materials is better for the environment and more cost-effective for businesses.

Many packaging suppliers also offer samples, so you can try several options to find the smallest box in which your item can be shipped safely. Alternatively, as 74% of consumers are reportedly willing to pay more for a sustainable packaging design, you could also look into more robust, reusable options. 

Consider a multi-use packaging design

By far the most innovative sustainable packaging design on this list is multi-use packaging that is designed to be used again. It extends the useful life of the materials used and provides an opportunity for businesses to showcase their creativity.

From refillable glass bottles and candle holders for local suppliers, to cardboard packaging that transforms into children’s toys or storage pots, the possibilities are endless. 

Even leading sports brand PUMA has jumped on the band wagon with their Clever Little Bag. Instead of shoeboxes with large lids, they now use a single cardboard tray encased in a fabric sleeve which doubles as a reusable shopping bag, reducing their cardboard production by 65%.

Speak to the experts

Keen to design your own eco-friendly packaging but not sure how to go about it? Our Manchester-based graphic design team can help make your products stand out from the crowd with a custom sustainable packaging design tailored to your unique brand. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.