Creative packaging design
Creative packaging design is the innovative design and solution of packages that not only helps products stand out from the rest but also helps the products growth and success. It also provides a more sustainable and cost-effective solution throughout the life span of the product.
Sustainable packing can come in many forms but the main objective of it is to package goods and desirable items in a way that will less hurt the environment as much as possible. This achieved by using materials such as:
- Compostable – The ability of a material to naturally decompose back into the earth, ideally without leaving any toxic residue. Compostable packaging materials are usually made from plant-based materials (like corn, sugar cane, or bamboo) and/or bio-poly mailers
- Recyclable – Environmentally friendly packaging materials can also come in the form of recycled packaging. These are items that give a second life to plastics that are already in circulation e.g., cardboard, moulded pulp, corrugated cardboard, tissue paper, white news offcuts, kraft wrapping paper, etc. Some plastics are recyclable.
- Corrugated – Box fibres made mainly from trees and old corrugated containers. According to corrugated.org, they can be used 7 to 10 times to make new packaging materials. In addition, “more corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling than any other packaging material.”
Cost effective packaging
Upgrading the packaging for older products is as important in reducing costs as providing time to optimize packaging for a new product.
- Polythene bags – poly bags available in light, medium and heavy-duty gauges and many different sizes, they are all food safe, recyclable and offer a cost-effective solution for numerous purposes, including General packing, Retail, Food use, Mattress and sofa storage, Filing and office supplies, Refuse.
- Cardboard boxes – As cardboard is lightweight, it makes means the packaging does not add too much to the weight of the product overall. With lighter packaging, it makes products easier to transport and more cost-effective as you save on fuel when you save on weight.
- Paper bags – Paper bags have become a more eco-friendly and cost-effective way of packing goods. Several retail businesses have converted to paper bags for packaging. They are fully customizable in style, printing & shape without emptying the wallet. Even grocery stores have made the switch to paper bags, to become an eco-friendlier business.
Packaging solutions of the future
- Mushroom instead of Styrofoam – Styrofoam has become a staple when it comes to packaging materials, but this is an anti-green material. Styrofoam in not biodegradable and takes around 1.5 litres of petrol just to create a single cube of polystyrene. “The biowaste is first crushed and mixed with special fungal cultures (mycelium). Then you give the mycelium a few days to grow. The growth is made possible by the biowaste, which serves the fungi as food. The mixture is then comminated again and placed in its final form. It takes about five days for the mixture to “grow into” the mould. Afterwards, the compact mass is subjected to a heat thrust to stop the growth and make the material sterile.” (https://www.lead-innovation.com/english-blog/5-innovative-packaging-of-the-future-without-plastic)
The product is then 100% biodegradable which is ideal for packaging material but also shows potential in the auto-motive and construction industry.
- Sugar cane – Avery Dennison have developed a biobased PE (polyethylene) film that would be an environmentally friendly alternative for labels. This Film is developed from sugarcane ethanol, the physical properties are like those of conventional petroleum polyethylene. The film is processed in the same manner as the conventional PE film, which results in low conversion and labelling costs for packages.
Tetra Pak have also seen the potential of sugar cane as they produced cartons for chilled dairy products are made exclusively from sugar cane-based plastic and cardboard.
- Milk Protein – Peggy Tomasula have been successful in producing packaging film from milk that is edible, biodegradable and much more effective than an oil-based film. This was possible through the funding of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This video better describes the production of the film with the main ingredient Casein, the protein of milk. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt32GgQGTcI&t=122s
Packing design solutions are going to continue to evolve as technology continues to grow, companies are inventing new ground-breaking products to change the packaging industry with eco-friendly resources. This in turn will reduce costs for packaging companies, make it easier for the consumers to be eco-friendly as well as the companies themselves.
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