Package Design - June 2012 - (Page 16)
BY KEVIN DIEGEL
One Small Step
Package designers can make big eco impacts with simple changes.
ustainable package design can seem complicated and overwhelming at times, but that shouldn’t discourage eco-minded brand owners and designers from trying to minimize the impact that their packaging makes on the environment. In the high-volume world of packaging, designers can change one part of how they create or specify packaging that cascades into huge bene ts for the environment. Here are three simple ways to start improving the sustainability of your package designs.
But the sustainability bene ts were immediately apparent. In the rst year of implementing this change, the amount of plastic used in a single product that had previously been packaged in a clamshell was reduced by 90%. Throughout that rst year, 65% of products previously packaged in non-recyclable PVC clamshells were moved to recyclable paperboard card and blister packaging. It turns out, too, that while clamshells initially seem cheaper than card and blister packaging, their cost difference levels out when packing higher quantities (60,000 and up) of goods. In 2009, the leadership at Costco issued a mandate to require that PVC be eliminated entirely from all product packaging. If a package had to be sold in a clamshell, it had to be made of PET or recycled PET, despite the difference in cost.
CREATE DESIGNS THAT USE LESS INK
At about the same time Costco began to phase out clamshell packaging, we made another simple decision that proved to have a big impact. We stopped ooding the bottom of packaging and display trays with ink. If the bottom panel of a package was never going to serve as a sales panel, why waste the ink? Do you know that it takes more than 1,000 lbs. of ink to coat the bottom of a million display trays? This is a simple change that can be implemented in a range of package designs. For example, Walgreens (Deer eld, IL) uses a simple design with a white background for its private-label packaging. The labels require less ink because the background color comes from the bright white label stock—yet the effect is striking. Package designers can take this one step further and use the inherent colors of unbleached substrates to provide interesting backgrounds without the use of ink. The designers at the London-based agency Big Fish used the natural tan color of kraft paper to create interesting backgrounds for the Dorset Cereals (Dorchester, U.K.) bar packaging featured in the May issue of Package Design.
These packages for Walgreens use the label substrate’s white color to produce a background that minimizes the amount of ink consumed during production.
SPECIFY RENEWABLE OR RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, one of the most ef cient ways a company can be sustainable is to maximize the use of renewable or recycled materials. At Costco Wholesale (Issaquah, WA), we had the opportunity to do just that. Moving from PVC clamshells, which are more dif cult to recycle, to paperboard card and PET blister packaging was decided in 2005. From a pure dollars and cents perspective, the decision didn’t immediately make sense; PVC clamshells were cheap and plentiful.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Package Design - June 2012
Package Design - June 2012
From the Editor
Eyes on the Prize
This Spud’s for You
Packaging Gets Personal
First Order of Business
Product Focus: Components — Caps, Seals and Handles
Index of Advertisers
Package Design - June 2012