A few weeks ago I had the pleasure and privilege of working at the “Experts Booth” at the International Housewares Show where I fielded questions from visitors and exhibitors regarding ecofriendly packaging options.
Even though I am sorry to report that overall the interest in sustainable packaging was probably not quite as widespread as in previous years; I was very pleased to see the number of very smart companies who continue moving forward in a determined, greener direction. They understand how sustainability in general and more specifically, sustainable packaging is a money maker, not a profit taker, and it was most apparent in a new trend I refer to as the minimalist green packaging movement.
While interest in recycling remains as strong as ever and reuse seems as elusive and misunderstood as it has ever been, packaging material reduction is going strong and was obvious everywhere at the show. Ironically, in many cases it was probably overlooked because the positive difference between current and previous packaging was NOT what was on display but, rather what was missing.
Consumers want less packaging because their preference is to not have to discard or recycle the packaging that enters their home. They also want to see the product they are considering buying, rather than an illustration or photo of it. Even from a cleanliness or security perspective, over packaging makes little sense because after all who takes home any type of kitchen accessory and does NOT wash it before use?
The above positive objectives open the door to a wide variety of cost reducing packaging options including carded packaging, sleeves, vertical or horizontal half trays and even hang tabs. Shrink film and plastic bagging film seemed more popular than in the past because in many cases they allow a dramatic reduction of paperboard or corrugated material per package while providing a unique combination of benefits that include visibility, security and overall waste reduction by weight and volume.
Of course, these greener, minimalist designs are twice as effective if they are constructed on uncoated board with a high (ideally 100%) recycled content. Fortunately for all of us, these more earth friendly materials are much more readily available and affordable compared to just a few years ago.
Check out the photos included in this post and let us know if you have any questions. There are many ways of accomplishing your financial and green objectives and these are just a few of them. Contact Salazar Packaging for a no cost, confidential review of your packaging needs.
Also, to visit the Housewares site and read a post about our efforts to help the industry “green up” please click here: http://www.housewares.org/blog/index.php/2013/02/going-green-salazar-packaging/