Sub Category

2021-05-25 17:58:40

Looking to Go More Sustainable with Your Packaging?

2021-05-25 17:58:40

Five questions to ask yourself if you want your packaging to be more sustainable, from Olga Kachook, senior manager at GreenBlue, SPC

1. Is there an opportunity to eliminate packaging? 

This might be through reformulation of the product to remove water, or to remove secondary packaging such as overwrap.  

2. Can you switch to refillable or reusable packaging? 

Reusable and refillable packaging is an opportunity to build. Beauty brands can consider offering inserts or refills for products, while retailers might consider offering in-store refill stations. 

3. What is the footprint of the current material being used? 

Before switching to a different material, it's important to understand where and how your fiber, glass, aluminum, or plastic packaging is sourced, and whether it includes any recycled content.

Most of the impacts from packaging occur during the sourcing and manufacturing phase, and brands can work to reduce this impact by sourcing recycled or renewable (bio-based) content. Life cycle assessment tools can help brands better understand their footprint. 

4. Are you considering how adhesives, labels, stickers, metallized labels, or any decorative elements might be affecting the recyclability of your packaging? 

A package might be made out of a material that is fairly simple to recycle, but elements like labels or closures can render it not recyclable. To help with this, the How2Recycle program offers a custom recyclability assessment for each package design, so that brands can understand how their design choices impact the recyclability of packaging.

5. Are you clearly communicating on-package what consumers should do with your packaging? 

Consumers look for information about how to recycle the packaging on the package itself. The How2Recycle label instructs consumers how to prep the packaging, if any elements need to be separated, and whether it is curbside recyclable or requires store drop-off.