3 Ways to Practice Sustainability So It Improves Your Brand Image – Through Your Packaging.

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Becoming a sustainable business requires dedication and commitment. As a business owner, you can't just create sustainable packaging and think that it's enough to improve your brand image in the eyes of your market.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Packoi Team

It would be best if you were thorough with your efforts. The more encompassing the steps are, the more authentic you’ll be. Your customers will be more impressed by your willingness to be eco-friendly.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use sustainability to improve your brand – specifically through packaging.

Promote A Sustainable Brand Through Your Packaging

sustainable packaging

There are several sustainable practices that you can implement through your packaging. Three of the popular ones are recycling, reusing, and reducing.

If you do your sustainability initiatives right, you can build a reputation as a sustainable business. Each of these brings incredible contributions – but they are done differently from each other.

If you want to maximize the effects of your environmentally-friendly packaging, you must choose the right approach based on the materials you use.

For instance, there are materials that you can’t recycle. So to keep them from going to landfills, you might want to make them reusable.

Or there are materials that you can reuse first before you recycle them. That way, you can increase the lifespan of that material and keep them from becoming packaging waste.

You can be pretty innovative with how your packaging promotes your sustainable brand image.

But before deciding how to go about it, here are the three popular ways you can use your product packaging to establish a sustainable business.

Option 1: Use Recyclable Materials

recyclable packaging

One of the ways sustainable brands create packaging is by using recyclable materials. What does that mean?

Recyclable packaging can be cleaned, sanitized, and broken down to be processed into something new. This will keep them from being sent into landfills as waste.

For instance, plastic bubble wrap or air pillows can be taken to recycling facilities and processed into plastic pellets. These pellets, in turn, can be used to create new flooring or furniture. It can even be used in construction.

Cardboard boxes, one of the most common recyclable materials, can become paperboard, tissue paper, or even paper towels.

How to Design Recyclable Packaging

recyclable packaging

Designing your sustainable packaging to be recyclable requires you to follow specific rules. It’s not just about using recyclable packaging materials. It’s also about implementing sustainable business practices while combining them to become new recycled materials.

Here are some tips that can help you design packaging that can be easily recycled.

  • Get to know the recycling facility standards where your packaging will usually end up.
  • Understand the recycling process and learn what can or can’t be recycled.
  • Avoid product residue as much as possible.
  • Make your packaging easy to disassemble.
  • Don’t combine cardboard materials with expanded plastic if it’s unnecessary. If it’s necessary, make sure you identify the polymers used in the packaging.
  • Use eco-friendly ink, coatings, and adhesives (e.g., acrylic or water-based paint or starch-based coating). If it’s not necessary, skip them altogether.
  • Design paper packaging to have interlocking tabs to eliminate the need for tape.
  • Opt to use paper labels and fasteners that can easily be removed.
  • Keep contamination like foil or metallic materials minimal. If unavoidable, make it easy to remove.

Option 2: Make It Reusable

Reusable packaging

Reusability is another way to implement sustainable packaging. This is when you create a type of packaging for which your customers can find other uses. Again, the purpose of this is to keep it away from landfills.

A perfect example is glass bottles. If the opening is big enough, it can be reused to store things around the house.

The same is true for rigid boxes with magnetic closures. This reusable packaging can be a storage box for little things. Putting a beautiful print on it can be left as is and turned into a decorative piece. The same can be done to tin cans.

How to Design Reusable Packaging

Reusable packaging design

Creating reusable packaging means you’re designing it in such a way that the customer has an option not to throw it away. They can use it to fulfill its initial purpose or something else. You should know the difference between reusable and recyclable packaging to decide which suits you.

But this type of sustainable packaging doesn’t just happen. Just because you put in the packaging that it can be reused, that doesn’t mean your customers will reuse it. It would be best to design your packaging to encourage your customers to follow through.

Here are some tips to increase the chances that your packaging will be reused.

  • Make it durable so the packaging can be used multiple times.
  • Use lightweight materials for easy handling.
  • Choose sustainable materials and packaging design that’s easily collapsible to be stored for reuse.
  • Opt for easy-to-remove labels and other attachments.
  • Go for materials that can be repaired, cleaned, and sanitized without compromising integrity.

Option 3: Reduce Where Applicable

sustainable packaging

Reducing packaging means minimizing the materials that you’ll use. So if there’s no need for inner packaging, you won’t use one.

Or, if possible, you can choose to use lighter materials. When you practice reduction in your sustainable packaging, you get to lower the weight and space that it’ll occupy during shipping. That can reduce the shipping costs and allow one delivery to carry more packages.

The result? Lower carbon emissions. This will lower the carbon footprint, which can ease the effects of global warming.

Another way to practice this is through compostable packaging. This means you’re using materials that the customers can use as compost to enrich the land around them. This ensures that your packaging won’t end up as waste at all.

How to Design Packaging to Reduce Waste

sustainable packaging design

Using suitable sustainable packaging materials can help minimize waste. It’s not just about using minimal layers in your packaging. It’s also about ensuring every piece of the packaging design is necessary and valuable to the product. This ensures that the whole supply chain that creates your packaging isn’t wasting resources.

The reduction can happen in terms of minimizing space, weight, and energy consumption.

Here are the different tips that can help you reduce waste.

  • Choose a shape that’ll minimize waste during production.
  • Remove unnecessary layers if it doesn’t affect the overall value or protection of the product.
  • Use alternatives to adhesives and tape (e.g., interlocking designs to close packages).
  • Avoid extra labels by printing information on the box itself.
  • Minimize creating extra space inside the box that’ll require fillers. In case the product is fragile, in which case fillers are necessary, use air pillows instead.
  • Forgo the use of plastic film for packaging windows.
  • Opt for double-wall corrugated boards instead of triple-wall.

Must-Haves Before Choosing Materials to Fit Your Sustainable Practices

reusable materials

When choosing suitable sustainable packaging materials, you must first determine the strategy you’ll follow. Will you be recycling, reusing, or reducing?

There are reusable materials that you can’t recycle. At the same time, some materials are compostable.

Of course, you still have to consider your brand, product, and customers when you’re doing this. But the materials must follow the rules of sustainability if you want to create an eco-friendly design for your packaging.

To help you choose the right materials, here are the must-haves you must first define.

The Benchmark

sustainable packaging

Your sustainable packaging strategy should start with a benchmark. This is the standard that you’ll focus on to help you assess if your sustainability efforts are relevant to environmental issues.

You see, there are many ways you can be sustainable. You can reduce waste. You can use recycled materials. You can support advocacies against deforestation.

While we all want to support as many environment-friendly efforts as possible, you must be specific. It will help you choose the right benchmark for your new packaging.

So if you care for the forests, your cardboard packaging design will lean towards using FSC-certified materials. Or if you want to reduce waste, you’ll know the right materials to help you achieve that goal.

The Message

compostable packaging

When you have a clear idea of how you’ll practice sustainability, you can now create your overall message. This is the green marketing theme that your sustainable packaging will follow.

Creating the right message aligned with your product and brand story is important.

Suppose you use compostable packaging that coincides with the general idea of your product. A “No Waste” green marketing campaign should be appropriate. The food and packaging are both compostable. That means your customer can compost what they bought from you.

Consider what you can use to show your customers your eco-friendly efforts while staying true to your brand.

Once you have your message, create a communications strategy to spread the word. Be proud of that campaign and use every platform to tell the world about it.

The Budget

The financial aspect of your new packaging is also an essential consideration in sustainable marketing. After all, you’re in business. While changing the packaging to be more eco-friendly is important, your business still has to profit from it.

This is where the budget will come in. It’ll define your sustainable packaging target. It’ll tell you what’s possible and what’s feasible.

Knowing how much you can afford makes it easier to narrow down the materials you can use to solve environmental issues.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to change everything, you can determine what aspects of the packaging you can convert first.

The Commitment

sustainable packaging

Transitioning into sustainable packaging is a task that you shouldn’t take lightly. There are many details to consider if you want to be fully sustainable.

Going through all these will require incredible commitment – from you and the whole team. That means you have to educate everyone about it. Explain to them the direction your new packaging will take and what this means for the business.

Remember, your efforts to be sustainable won’t be limited to your packaging. Eventually, your business will have to follow eco-friendly practices.

Everyone must be on board to ensure the process can happen quickly and effortlessly.

The Partners

Transitioning into sustainable packaging will require much work and effort, but partnering with a suitable packaging company becomes easier.

There are a lot of packaging companies that are experts in their own right – but not everyone is duly certified and considered eco-friendly. But this will probably change over the years since governments are putting pressure on the packaging industry to be more sustainable.

But in the meantime, you need to choose the right partner to provide you with the best flexible packaging solutions. Look for certifications and read reviews about them to ensure they have the expertise to help you be more sustainable.

Packoi Printing Is FSC-Certified to Help

Are you looking for the right partner to supply your sustainable packaging needs? Creating sustainable packaging is easier if you partner with the right supplier. It’ll help impress your customers and make your business thrive.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy partner, Packoi Printing is here. We have an FSC certification to assure you of our supply chain’s eco-friendly processes.

It’s time to start improving your brand image. Please give us your ideas so we can give you a fair quotation as soon as possible.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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