With growing demand from end users for environmentally-friendly products, a number of major brands are starting to consider ways in which they can make their offerings more appealing to their customers. One of these ways is through making responsible packaging choices which help to further develop the circular economy and facilitate a sustainable future. But what should you look for in effective eco-friendly packaging?
Here are 4 tips to help you choose the best packaging for your products:
1. Consider Natural Materials
Natural plant-based materials such as paper and bamboo are becoming increasingly utilized within the packaging industry. These materials are biodegradable, so they don’t contribute towards the growing landfill or microplastics crises. While these materials may not be suitable for all applications, they are proving to be safe and effective for solid products such as lip balms and stick deodorants. Fast-growing bamboo has the added advantage of being naturally antibacterial, while it’s understood that paper can be recycled up to seven times before the fibers become too short for further production.
2. Don’t Overlook Plastic
For some products, particularly lotions and soaps, plastic is by far the most durable material for packaging. And while it’s certainly not the most eco-friendly material, some plastics are much more environmentally friendly than others. PET plastic and polypropylene can both be recycled, making them good choices for brands which are looking to find a healthy middle ground between packaging strength and sustainability. These materials are also very lightweight, which means that they naturally use less resin to produce and, subsequently, less energy when compared to other, heavier materials.
3. Opt for Refillable Containers
‘Eco-friendly’ packaging doesn’t just mean eco-friendly materials. Packaging design is also an important factor to take into account when selecting responsible packaging options. Refillable containers eradicate the problem of single use plastics, enabling end users to reuse their containers for other products. Look for packaging that enables the user to open, clean, refill, and reseal containers with ease. Easy open jars and bottles are good choices, along with dual-walled pump bottles that feature an inner container that can be swapped for low-packaging refills if your brand offers these products.
4. Go Airless
While airless packaging itself isn’t specifically eco-friendly, it does help to support a future of natural, chemical-free products. Pump bottles and jars featuring airless technology are designed to prevent products from being exposed to oxygen, making it possible for brands to introduce self-preserving products or products containing natural preservatives and minimizing the use of environmentally damaging chemicals. While natural and organic products can often spoil quicker when exposed to oxygen and airborne contaminants, airless packaging extends the shelf life of sensitive formulas.