Today’s packaging professionals are facing increasing pressures to create packaging concepts that offer ‘win-wins’ – where a design not only offers consumer convenience and product protection, but also environmental benefits.
With the arrival of Recycling Week 2013 (17-23 June), and subsequent calls for improved recycling incentives by the British Plastics Federation (BPF), designs must focus on the entire packaging concept, ensuring both the closure and the container receive equal consideration from the outset. This will not only ensure greater freedom for packaging designers but enhanced product functionality for consumers and overall improved environmental performance.
In order to successfully create a ‘win-win’ packaging concept, environmental needs must be given ample consideration during every stage – the design, development and manufacturing – of packaged goods.
For example, there’s often far too little consideration given to closures, with a generic screw cap added on to the design. Moving away from this approach and instead focusing on innovative closure solutions offers a significant opportunity for companies wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, an innovative closure solution using a foil seal inside a cap to provide tamper evidence eliminates the need for a tamper band and allows knurling around the neck to be removed. This means a lighter cap and lower neck profile, which enables blown containers to be reconstructed, offering weight savings of between 24 and 40 per cent on a standard closure application, cutting material costs and reducing carbon emissions throughout the production chain.
These developments in closure technologies are empowering many of these win-win design concepts. Indeed, perhaps the main barrier holding back innovations that are environmentally friendly and meet multiple needs is the fact that all too often there has been insufficient focus on the whole pack design – container and closure – from the outset.
‘Win-win’ packaging concepts also enable global roll-outs – they allow a single pack to reduce the threat of counterfeiting in markets where this is a major problem, such as the Far East, while simultaneously offering environmental benefits in marketing where there is a high demand for ‘green’ packaging, such as Western Europe and North America.
Whether it’s retailers, brands, consumers or the planet, our industry can ensure that everyone wins.