Single Use Plastics & Sustainable Packaging

Do you want to understand what impact your product’s packaging has on the environment? Are you looking at reviewing how to make your packaging choices more sustainable?

With public concern about single use plastics (SUPs) increasing, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals including targets for both sustainable consumption and production as well as minimising marine plastic, many businesses are reviewing how they can make more sustainable choices for their products.

The range of options, and the environmental implications of each, can be baffling. Some materials are easier to recycle, but more resource intensive to produce; some may have logistical advantages; others may reduce litter-related problems or claim to be biodegradable. It is critical that whatever material is selected, it does its job of protecting your products and is feasible for the business in cost and practicality terms.

Using lifecycle analysis, carbon footprinting and ecodesign principles, we offer a rigorous approach to packaging optimisation – understanding which packaging options offer the best overall environmental outcome in a holistic systems context – including what actually happens in waste management terms rather than what could theoretically be possible.

We offer clarity regarding where you should and should not use SUPs, examining the real environmental pros and cons of SUPs compared with traditional alternatives, such as paper, aluminium or glass, and more novel materials such as compostable plastics or edible polymers.

We can help you understand the different considerations involved in choosing the best approach to packaging, including:

  • Minimisation and ‘Rightweighting’: how to avoid unnecessary packaging;
  • Reusability: how to design packaging – especially transit packaging – that can practically be reused again and again;
  • Recyclability: how to choose single use packaging solutions that are easy to recycle; and
  • Litter: how to minimise the risk that packaging will be littered, and the impact if littering occurs.

To find out how we can help you adopt circular economy principles in the design of your packaging, contact Mark Hilton.