Sustainability in Packaging Innovation admin April 7, 2022

Sustainability in Packaging Innovation

Ray Betts, Senior Designer and Design Manager

This year we were lucky to attend The Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging event that took place at Olympia London. It brings together perfume and cosmetic brands, beverage and food manufacturers, breweries and distilleries, and specialist printers and manufacturers. The event showcased the latest packaging trends, design and insights from leading industry experts. In this article, we discuss a very relevant trend showcased by many of the exhibitors; how companies are implementing sustainability into their brand values.

In this article, we discuss a very relevant trend showcased by many of the exhibitors; how companies are implementing sustainability into their brand values.

This year, many brands demonstrated their efforts to be more sustainable. Companies like DAPY Paris showcased their luxury fragrance packaging and sustainability model which includes sustainably sourced materials, CO2 friendly transportation and a second life purpose. Other companies like Stager, who specialise in packaging solutions made of transparent and thermoformed plastics, have a proven track record for sourcing their material primarily through ocean waste.

Manufacturing company Pipi, offer FSC-certified eco-friendly packaging, which is dedicated to sustaining forests and ensuring the paper production industry is maintained. Whilst materials like glass and aluminium are good for recycling, it is evident that printing and finishing can limit what is recyclable. Metallic foils, inks, varnishes and other special printing effects are particularly difficult, and although vegetable-based inks and solvent-free printing are now available, high-end production values are still important tools to communicate a premium positioning. Although bespoke high-end packaging products tend to have a longer lifespan than single-use food service packaging, there is ultimately a greater impact on the environment.

Plant based raw materials, such as sugarcane and HDPE are also becoming more widely available in the industry as brands realise their potential. Product solution provider, Natupharma have a patent process which uses polyethylene produced from sugarcane with an added biodegradable compound; their containers are high quality, food safe and suitable for pharmaceutical use. Another manufacturer that uses plant-based products is Vegware, who specialise in the production of compostable packaging for the single use food market.

Although compostables are a promising alternative in packaging, the infrastructure is very limited and they still require processing and heat to break down, which is why ‘circularity’ in the products we create and consume is so crucial. The direction for circularity is evidently shown through many brands eco-credentials to date, and although we are seeing this trend accelerate, we are still in the early stages with a long way to go.

Though meeting the sustainable goals for the product and packaging is vital in building a brand’s reputation - it is also crucial in addressing the values of consumers. The team at Recipe understand this process well. During a recent project for the rebrand of Galderma’s Daylong brand, Recipe conducted a study that examined the consumer interpretation of all packaging elements, to ensure the rebrand met the values most important to them.

Recipe’s work with Braun Audio is another example of delivering a brand ethos through meaningful packaging design. The Recipe research team conducted deep consumer insight work that informed creative direction and helped the design team to ensure the packaging had maximum impact. You can read more about these projects here.

As materials become more eco-friendly, compostable, and circular, it’s critical for your brand values to meet those of your consumers. And as climate change intensifies there has never been a more important time for brands to collectively make a change in the industry.

If you would like to discuss how to make a more powerful connection with consumers through great packaging design, then please get in touch with our Client Services Lead Natasha French.

This article was first published in December 2021