Packaging is enjoying something of a renaissance. Thanks to COVID-19 and the home delivery boom, demand for effective padding and wrapping has reached an all-time high. But anti-pollution initiatives may have left some of your old favourites looking not just tired, but also positively irresponsible.
If you’re on the lookout for fresh ideas, here’s a quick round-up of some novel solutions to which creative designers are resorting, with our ratings for style and ecological credibility. We chose to concentrate on packaging that’s in use with real-world companies.
Second Time Around
U.S. cleaning product manufacturer method has collaborated with recycler Envision Plastics to make bottles out of plastic waste. In a neat piece of tail-swallowing, the waste in question comes from polluted beaches in Hawaii. The practical effect may be minimal, but the resulting publicity has been great. Could you find your own source among Britain’s waste mountains?
Aesthetics 2/5 Eco cred 3/5
Eat My Wraps
TAMGA Designs wraps its distinctive garments in cassava starch bags from startup Avani. Cassava is a root vegetable from Africa which breaks down naturally in a matter of weeks, so the bags can be trashed or composted after use. Pushed for time? Dissolve your bag in a glass of hot water...and drink it!
Aesthetics 3/5 Eco cred 3/5
Make Room For Mushrooms
Retailers have looked long and hard for an alternative to expanded polystyrene. Dell and Ikea are the two most prominent advocates of mushroom-based packaging. The fungi provide lightweight, rigid inserts which can be formed into any shape required, while still remaining biodegradable.
Aesthetics 2/5 Eco cred 4/5
New Weeds For The Widow
Iconic champagne brand Veuve Clicquot launched its ‘Naturally Clicquot’ campaign to make capital out of eco-friendly packaging. Early versions used the now-familiar potato starch, but later iterations have incorporated grape skins from the company's own winemaking operation. Both were chosen for their padding and insulating qualities. Maybe your company has a by-product you could put to good use?
Aesthetics 4/5 Eco cred 3/5
Busy Little Beeswax
For some years, beeswax-impregnated fabrics have been gaining ground on plastics. They’re flexible, easy to re-use and naturally disinfectant. Bee’s Wrap makes their mouldable, grippable wraps by infusing cotton with food-grade beeswax, rosin, coconut oil and jojoba oil.
Aesthetics 4/5 Eco cred 4/5
Sheep are out in all weathers, so it’s no surprise to learn that wool has better isothermal properties than styrofoam. But the material is also famously non-allergenic. UK innovators Woolcool have been quietly developing their innovative wool-based packaging, which includes insulated bags for food and pharmaceuticals, since 2002.
Aesthetics 4/5 Eco cred 4.5/5
Milk has a long, forgotten history in the plastics industry. Now French company Lactips has come up with a milk-based thermoplastic packaging material that’s both biodegradable and soluble. The casein-based film breaks down harmlessly in water or through home composting. Plastics with a heart!
Aesthetics 4/5 Eco cred 5/5
As a leading supplier of Fuji Machinery & Co Ltd’s horizontal flow wrapping machines, our machines are able to process eco-friendly materials including biodegradable, biocompostable and recyclable packaging. If you’re exploring how to reduce your carbon footprint or use of plastic packaging, speak to our team on 01252 815 252.