Sustainable packaging: more than a trend

The sustainable packaging approach involves going beyond reconsidering the materials used in the manufacturing of packaging.

Employment resources

Currently, the environmental future is an issue of concern. How can climate change and its effects be reversed or reduced? This is a question that many companies try to answer with actions. To do this, they look for alternatives to polluting practices to reduce their ecological footprint. Thus, solutions such as sustainable packaging have been born.  

The sustainable packaging approach involves going beyond reconsidering the materials used in the manufacturing of packaging. It requires rethinking both how the product is made and the routes to its final disposal, and thus minimising the environmental impact at all stages. 

Sustainable packaging: an innovative solution for the environment 

As we told you, sustainable packaging arises as a response to the need to commit to environmentally friendly practices. At the same time, it is an approach that seeks to adapt to those users who are willing to change their lifestyle to consume products committed to social and environmental responsibility. 

In this sense, sustainable packaging refers to the practice of designing, manufacturing and using product packaging in ways that minimize environmental impact and maximize efficiency and reuse. This means using renewable or recycled materials, reducing waste and optimizing the life cycle of packaging.  

Thus, this practice is usually included within the Green Marketing strategy of companies. At this point, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to apply this approach to every business: the answer is yes. Keep in mind that it is not only about the final presentation of the product but also about ensuring sustainability throughout its life cycle.  

Sustainable materials for packaging 

The ultimate goal of sustainable packaging is to find a balance between protecting and presenting products effectively and minimizing their environmental impact. To do this, companies employ strategies such as reducing the size and weight of packaging, designing packaging that is easily recyclable or reusable, and using sustainable materials.  

Below, we share the most common sustainable materials in food, cosmetics and the textile industry. 

Sustainable food packaging 

  • Bioplastics: they are derived from renewable sources, such as corn starch or cellulose. 
  • Compostable materials: These materials can decompose into compost under certain conditions, reducing environmental impact.  
  • Recycled paper and cardboard: These are popular and widely available options for sustainable food packaging. 
  • Natural fibers: such as bamboo or cellulose fibers, which can be used in biodegradable packaging. 

Sustainable packaging in cosmetics 

  • Bamboo and wood: used in solid packaging or as decorative packaging components. 
  • Recycled glass: widely used for cream and lotion containers due to its ability to be recycled infinitely. 
  • Bioplastics and recycled plastics: as sustainable alternatives to conventional plastic. 
  • Compostable materials: for products that require a more ecological approach in their disposal. 

Sustainable packaging in the textile and fashion industry 

  • Organic fibers: such as organic cotton, organic linen or hemp, which reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides. 
  • Recycled fibers: from materials such as recycled plastic bottles or recycled fishing nets. 
  • Natural fabrics: such as wool, cotton and silk, which are biodegradable and have a lower environmental impact in their production. 
  • Alternative materials: such as vegan leather, made from materials such as pineapple, mushrooms or algae, offering a sustainable alternative to animal leather. 

Examples of sustainable packaging 

Do you have a company and want to take the step towards sustainable packaging for your products? Take note of these examples that may give you some idea: 

  • Water bottles made from recycled materials: Some bottled water brands use bottles made from recycled plastic. This reduces the amount of virgin plastic needed and encourages recycling. 
  • Reusable cloth bags: Instead of disposable plastic bags, many stores offer strong, reusable cloth bags, made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, jute or recycled fibers. These bags are durable and can be used over and over again, reducing the amount of single-use plastic in the environment. 
  • Cardboard food packaging: Instead of plastic packaging, some foods like eggs, fruits, and vegetables come in cardboard or recycled paper packaging. These are more sustainable and biodegradable. 
  • Biodegradable cardboard packaging for cosmetics: Some cosmetic brands use biodegradable cardboard packaging instead of plastic for their products. They are made from recycled cardboard and are biodegradable, meaning they decompose quickly in the environment when discarded. 
  • Kraft Paper Bags: Kraft paper bags are popular in grocery stores and cafes. They are recyclable and biodegradable. 
  • Minimalist packaging: another trend in sustainable packaging is the use of minimalist packaging that reduces the amount of materials used to a minimum. This may include packaging without excess packaging, labels printed directly on the product, or packaging that can be easily disassembled for recycling. 

Now it’s your turn to put all this into practice to work for the environment. If you want to expand your knowledge about this and many other areas related to Corporate Social Responsibility, do not hesitate to follow us on the Educa.Pro blog. 

Keep reading