Packaging Design for the Circular Economy
This is an exciting time in all design fields. Greater environmental awareness has challenged traditional thinking. It has now become important to consider the entire process, from how and where materials are sourced, through manufacture, use and on to recyclability.
Packaging design used to focus solely on selling the product. It was often elaborate, with multiple layers that served to give the product the wow factor. It was also wasteful, with much of that packaging being excessive and non-recyclable.
No one was particularly concerned about the disposable nature of packaging design. Even today, the European Commission states that 40% of the demand for plastic in Europe comes from the packaging industry. Considerable efforts are being channelled into bio-degradable plastics and viable alternatives to plastic, but we are still overly reliant on non-recyclable plastic packaging.
Brands still need packaging to sell their products and there needn’t be a compromise. Many consumers are now seeking out the brands that are taking an environmental stand. Research shows that those gaining popularity are the brands which are embracing sustainability.
Corrugated Cardboard Packaging and the Circular Economy
Fortunately, corrugated cardboard packaging is a long-standing, trusted packaging material that does fit the circular economy model. Formed from largely recycled paper fibres, corrugated cardboard is resilient, durable and has been proven to offer the best protection for an extensive range of goods.
To give but a few examples, Aylesbury Box Company produces printed cardboard packaging for fresh flowers, delicate vases and fragile lightbulbs. At the other end of the spectrum, our boxes transport bulky motorbike wheels, large industrial machinery and weighty brick samples.
Make the Switch
Aylesbury Box Company accepts that there are some products which can’t be protected by corrugated cardboard packaging. We do, however, advise our customers when they can make the switch to cardboard and other sustainable solutions.
For a start, there are many benefits to switching from bubble wrap and air pockets to fitted cardboard inserts or shredded paper fillers. For example, a cardboard insert helps to secure everything in place, enhances the presentation and can be printed in line with your brand.
Cardboard inserts can be integrated into the box design and speed-up pick and pack processes. They are low-cost, lightweight and add a look of quality to your packaging design. All this and they can be recycled!
Linear to Circular Packaging Design
The packaging design process was linear, but strategies are in place to encourage cyclical thinking. This demands a fresh, creative approach. Design concepts have to be stripped back to what is necessary to protect and brand the product. Thought must be given to the materials being used, how these materials are easily assembled and then disassembled to encourage reuse and recycling.
With sustainability at its heart, packaging design can make a difference. If you would like to discuss cardboard packaging options for your products, give our friendly team a call on 01296 436888