Did you know that if you had to forage through your dustbin right now you’d find that approximately half of all of your household waste is product packaging? That’s a conservative estimate too. All products are bought with some form of packaging enveloping and protecting the goods, and packaging weighs nearly 50% of the average product. It’s no surprise then that packaging is considered a major contributor to global pollution and excessive waste.

Contradicting Principles

The difficulty for retailers and manufacturers is that they are required to ensure environmental sustainability and a decreased carbon footprint while simultaneously satisfying the consumer. The modern consumer expects a perfectly packaged product, where the package is a reflection of the product contained within. Consider the electronics market; when unveiling a new cellphone, its packaging is often made from unsustainable packaging materials and weighs three or four times more than the product itself. Packaging needs to be user-friendly and protective, yet also retaining the marketable principle of being an extension of the product. Although it may seem impossible to do, there is a way to make sustainable packaging as well as retain the always-essential ‘WOW’-factor of modern packaging.

Minimising Packaging Waste 

There is a great example of a brand trying to minimise packaging waste while increasing packaging efficiency. That example is Puma and their newest invention; the ‘clever little bags’ concept. Their new product packaging does away with the heavier, bulkier, rigid corrugated cardboard box, and instead uses a treated, durable recyclable paper bag. The paper bag, with Puma’s signature marketing prints, has two sturdy cardboard sleeves within, supporting and holding the shoes. The new packaging is incredibly easy to use, fits onto a retail and bedroom shelf, and most importantly it only uses half the material as that of the conventional shoebox. Make sure you visit the Puma South Africa website here.

A little bit of inventive design is all that’s required to help us reduce the amount of packaging waste we expel yet still create brilliant packaging. More time and investment should go into developing new ways of reducing packaging waste, while rewarding those brands that make a significant change.

If you want to minimise your packaging waste, then don’t hesitate to contact Design Packaging & Tapes. We will help you come up with a cheaper and more sustainable product packaging solution.