Environmentally smart designs for product packaging

Starting a new business? Or perhaps you have been long established and are thinking about a product redesign? Whatever the case, it is critical that as product developers you consider the environmental impact your product has on the earth. From the item itself through to the packaging and supply methods, you can make environmentally responsible decisions about how to create the most sustainable product possible.

You obviously want your product to look good on the shelves and be eye catching to potential buyers, however this doesn’t mean you can’t think about the environmental impact at the same time. Environmentally friendly doesn't mean dull brown cardboard – you can produce packaging that not only looks good, but is also biodegradable and good for the environment.

We have all seen how excess packaging can harm the earth from becoming excess landfill or getting into our rivers and oceans and hurting fish and animals. Therefore when selecting what packaging materials to use for your products, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid adding to this already detrimental issue.

Organisations such as RECOUP offer advice on designing packaging that is easily recyclable, biodegradable or reusable. You can download a guide that provides advice on the best polymers to use to suit your product.

Many design companies work exclusively in producing sustainable packaging that uses recycled materials, and sustainable ink and printing processes to ensure a minimal carbon impact is created during the production.

Be sure to consider all levels of packaging – from what your product is protected in, through to secondary packaging and any boxes used for transporting your items. All of these can have an impact on the environment and it is necessary to consider how this packaging will be disposed of after use.