The future of packaging

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”

Robert L. Peters, designer and author

Design has always played a strong role in packaging and in its influence of purchase.

On the retail shelf, products strive to be the loudest, brightest and most attention seeking.

It is now time to say more with less

– less packaging

– less plastic

– less impact on our environment

We are now all aware of the impact of climate change and how we can all play our part. It’s time for design to play its part. At MAKER, we believe that design can be part of the solution.

From the beginning of the packaging process, we can help you choose a more sustainable packaging. One that is considerate of its impact on the environment while still using strong design visuals to sell your product.

The use of vegetable inks are on the rise, as they do not contain the toxins that normal inks have and release nutrients into the soil when decomposing rather than toxins.

Did you know that the buzz word we’ve come to know as ‘biodegradable’ only means that will disappear at some point in time (could be years), also that the term is not enforced so is used loosely by companies. Whereas ‘compostable’ means it will disappear within several months*, whilst releasing valuable nutrients into the soil. (Source)

*It’s worth noting that compostable products on disposable decompose best when they are placed in the compost bin.

Our hopeful prediction of the future of packaging is a more sustainable one. The role design can play is to make it more enticing to consumers to choose make more sustainable choices.

What can I package my product in instead of plastic and conventional cardboard?

  • Glass
  • Recycled cardboard
  • Sustainable cardboard (from sustainable forests)
  • Compostable plastic (made from tree resin)

Benefits of updating your packaging:

– Meet increasing consumer demand for products to have an environmentally friendly ethos

– Causing a direct and positive impact which can benefit the environment (by reducing longterm landfill waste)

– An opportunity to potentially update/freshen any dated packaging and freshen up your look & feel

Dress to impress

In an ideal world, we would have no packaging and no waste but it is about taking small steps. Here are some examples of how current packaging can be made just that little bit more environmentally friendly. The longterm plan would be to replace single use by creating reusable and refillable designed items that can be used longterm or widely recycled (like glass) or are compostable & biodegradable.

1. Plastic shampoo product bottle > Aluminium shampoo bottle (refillable in minimal waste stores like Minimal Waste Grocery) with branding

2. Plastic moisturiser container > Glass (with sugar cane plastic lid in recycled carboard/compostable box)

3. Luxury biscuits in plastic wrapper > Recycled cardboard (and tree resin plastic to hold food item) provided by suppliers like Priory Press Packaging

Examples of some Irish companies making sustainable changes to their packaging;

1. Chocolately Clare

This company provides delicous vegan chocolate which now is packaged in fully compostable packaging (cardboard box and internal compostable plastic) – Go Clare!

2. Remedy Roots (Loose Leaf Teas)

Remedy Roots create herbal teas that really help you take care of yourself, as well as the planet! These teas come in fully compostable packaging (even the plastic wrapper inside which uses plastic made from tree resin) – winning combination!

3. Harrys Dogs Bakery

This adorable company makes healthy treats for our canine friends! Happy dogs, happy planet. This company re-use banana boxes for their deliveries as well as the outer box being fully recyclable.

From the outset, we should be thinking of the impact this product on the environment.

MAKER are seeking to work with companies who which to redesign their current packaging into more sustainable one.

Good things come in small packages. Better things come in sustainable packaging.

Chat to us today to work together to create a more sustainable option for packaging your product.


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