In an era marked by heightened environmental awareness and a drive toward more responsible consumption, the importance of sustainable packaging has gained unprecedented traction. Industries worldwide are undergoing a significant transformation, reimagining their packaging strategies to align with the principles of environmental stewardship and resource conservation. In this article, we delve into the latest trends and innovations in sustainable packaging that are reshaping industries and paving the way for a greener future.
**1. Minimalism and Source Reduction
One of the primary goals of sustainable packaging is source reduction, which involves minimizing the amount of packaging material used without compromising the product’s integrity. Companies are embracing minimalism by opting for smaller packaging sizes, eliminating excess layers, and focusing on efficient design. This not only reduces waste but also leads to cost savings and increased consumer satisfaction.
2. Biodegradable and Compostable Materials
The shift away from traditional, non-biodegradable plastics is gaining momentum. Biodegradable and compostable materials, such as plant-based plastics and natural fibers, are emerging as viable alternatives. These materials break down naturally in the environment, reducing the long-lasting impact of packaging waste on ecosystems. Brands are increasingly incorporating these materials into their packaging solutions, offering consumers more sustainable choices.
3. Recycling Innovations
While recycling has been a cornerstone of sustainability efforts, new innovations are making the process more effective. Advanced recycling technologies are being developed to tackle challenges associated with complex packaging structures. Companies are also collaborating with consumers to enhance recycling rates by providing clear instructions and improving infrastructure.
4. Reusability and Circular Design
The concept of a circular economy is gaining traction in the packaging industry. Brands are exploring reusable packaging solutions, from refill stations to packaging that can be returned, sanitized, and reused. By extending the lifecycle of packaging, this approach reduces waste and conserves resources.
5. Smart Packaging and Technology Integration
Incorporating technology into packaging is enabling smarter and more sustainable solutions. QR codes and RFID tags can provide consumers with information about the product’s lifecycle, disposal instructions, and recycling options. This empowers consumers to make informed choices and participate in responsible waste management.
6. Collaborative Initiatives
Recognizing that sustainable packaging is a collective effort, collaborations between industries, governments, and NGOs are becoming increasingly common. These partnerships facilitate the sharing of knowledge, resources, and best practices, accelerating the adoption of sustainable packaging solutions on a broader scale.
Sustainable packaging has transcended its status as a mere trend and has become a pivotal force driving positive change across industries. The dynamic shift toward minimalism, the integration of biodegradable materials, recycling innovations, circular design principles, technology integration, and collaborative initiatives collectively signify a commitment to shaping a more eco-conscious future. As consumers demand accountability and environmental responsibility, companies that prioritize sustainable packaging stand not only to enhance their brand reputation but also to contribute to a healthier planet for generations to come.
DS SMITH, GLOBAL LEADER IN SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING, PARTNER WITH SUSHI SPECIALIST EAT HAPPY TO DEVELOP FULLY RECYCLABLE SUSHI TRAYS FOR SHOPS AND CHILLERS
LONDON, Monday 7th August 2023 – DS Smith, a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging solutions worldwide, listed on the FTSE100, has partnered with sushi specialist Eat Happy to develop a fully recyclable sustainable solution for the firm’s disposable plastic sushi trays.
The tray and the lid of the new packaging are made from natural and renewable raw materials using corrugated cardboard. The innovative packaging solutions are designed to be water and grease repellent and designed to protect and preserve the sushi product within. They are developed in a diverse range of shapes and sizes from single to party platters using DS Smith’s innovative Circular Design Metrics approach and the replacement trays are anticipated to save more than 1,250 tonnes of plastic per year.
Using Circular Design Metrics, DS Smith packaging experts evaluate and tailor a product unique solution against a formula of eight set criteria inclusive of recyclability, renewable materials, and supply chain optimization. The design metrics are intended to measure a packaging’s suitability for the circular economy and enable designers to identify areas for completion in each unique product.
Volker Quaas, Head of Design and Innovation for Germany and Switzerland, DS Smith:
“The fresh food segment is one of the future growth markets that always presents us with exciting tasks.
The biggest challenge for us is that freshly prepared sushi remains in direct contact with the packaging during the refrigeration process at counter level. It’s also vital that the product can be seen and is visible via a window within the tray and these careful design elements need to fit fully with materials that work within the circular economy. The solution is beneficial for our clients because it is fully in line with current legislation to avoid single-use plastic”.
DS Smith offers an extensive product portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions for direct or indirect food contact for a wide variety of food types, whether fresh, chilled, frozen, fatty or other. The new packaging solution works alongside DS Smith strategic growth plan across packaging for the fresh food sector.
Florian Bell, CEO of Eat Happy Group:
“We spent a long time working on a new, more sustainable packaging solution that meets the stringent requirements for our products. We’re delighted that, with DS Smith’s help, we can now finally launch packaging that does just that. The new innovative packaging solution will allow us to meet our retail partners’ and customers’ increasing demand for more environmentally friendly packaging. But it also means we as a company can help protect the climate and the environment. So, moving to a sophisticated, fully recyclable packaging solution made of natural, renewable materials is particularly important for us. The consultation process with the team from DS Smith was focused on our specific aims and we worked together to overcome the major challenges that freshly rolled sushi poses.”