Our clients expect good environmental practice and this extends to the way we approach their projects and search for sustainable and innovative design solutions.
Environmentally friendly packaging can be:
Reusable – Designed to be cleaned and reused multiple times, for both sustainable and economic reasons. A typical example is the glass milk bottle.
Recyclable – Plastic, paper, cardboard Paper and cardboard packaging can be diverted from landfill sites and recycled. Paper and cardboard that has already been through the recycling process can also be used, while packaging made from FSC Certified Paper ensures that wood pulp is sourced from an environmentally friendly, well-managed forest.
Plastic – Single use plastic is to be avoided at all costs.
Biodegradable – Paper, cardboard, and other plant-based materials and films Most biodegradable packaging materials will still end up in landfill sites, but they have the ability to break down and decompose into natural elements within a year or less.
Compostable – These materials break down and decompose, like biodegradable packaging, but compostable packaging materials also give nutrients back to the earth after breaking down.
Minimal – The less packaging there is, the more environmentally friendly it is.
We design environmentally friendly packaging. We work with reusable and recyclable materials.
Case Study: Aecre single origin honey
Glass v plastic – the packaging dilemma
When glass is recycled it is turned into more glass. It can then be recycled again. In fact it can be recycled again and again and never lose its integrity. Plastic bottles, however, are not recycled into plastic bottles. Every time a product is packaged in a plastic bottle, jar or other type of container, it’s new plastic.
High consumer expectations regarding premium packaging are met more easily and often by glass. However, the Co2 cost of shipping glass is higher than for plastic. This can be mitigated if the glass is sourced locally/in the UK.
Glass jars contain no chemicals that can leach into food, and glass can be safely washed at high temperatures. Glass uses twice the energy to produce but recycled glass uses 40% less energy than manufacturing new glass.
For Aecre, we used glass jars and printed the honey ‘labels’ directly onto them. This simplified the production process and reduced the use of paper and energy.
We use natural and biodegradable materials. Packaging made from natural materials like recycled, virgin or dye-free paper are kinder to the environment.
Case Study: Dobbies’ 100% biodegradable tote bag
This tote bag was made from softened Jute fabric that’s tactile and robust, soft and strong. And it was colour matched using vegetable inks. It contains absolutely no plastic so, should it ever wear out, it will gradually break down back into the earth it came from.
We seek out unique and innovative materials
For example: Links made from foods or milk proteins rather than harsh chemicals. Bioplastics, for example potato starch wrapping to replace polythene. Plant-based packing peanuts. Rainforest-friendly paper
Case Study: Global AR
We printed the postcards on Extract. This paper stock is produced using CupCycling technology, which takes 90% of the waste from each cup and converts it back into FSC certified paper fibre. It’s a zero waste process. This paper is not the solution to the world’s coffee cup problem but it contributes to the tackling of a global design problem, and that was our reason for choosing this paper.
Our To-do List (because there’s always more to be done and room for improvement)
Continue to invest time researching and examining our suppliers and the goods/stock we buy so that we only purchase packaging materials that follow the below: Manufactured in a sustainable fashion. Recycled or reused and/or are produced from recycled or renewable materials, such as bamboo, in the first place. Are not overly packaged themselves.
Continue to think creatively, research new materials and look for a clever ways to do things differently.