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Five green packaging trends to keep an eye on

Luxury brands and their packaging design companies are changing to meet the needs of consumers. One of the biggest requirements is sustainability – an issue that has gained momentum across all industries in the last couple of years. This includes shifts towards smaller carbon footprints and more eco-friendly packaging designs for premium products.

Customers are now demanding environmentally-friendly products (and by extension, the packaging). Over 65% of consumers opt for green packaging and products over non-sustainable options. In addition to these changes, the near future of the packaging industry will see the following green trends.

1. Design with sustainability in mind

Sustainable packaging starts with design. More and more luxury goods will start to use eco-friendly packaging materials, which will be selected from conception. Not only does this mean using recycled products to create the packaging, such as paper and glass, but also to design packs that can be reused or that have a lower carbon footprint to manufacture. Eco-friendly packaging is no longer an afterthought, it is now the first solution.

2. Using green plastics

Although most plastics are recyclable, many brands are starting to use bioplastics that have a better ability to biodegrade if left exposed to the elements. These newer plastics can still be recycled, but they also decompose faster in landfills and the environment. Packaging companies are likely to start incorporating these eco-friendly alternatives into premium packs and luxury brands gain momentum with their sustainability goals.

3. Recycled paper is becoming advanced

Many packs are created from paper and rigid boards, even in the luxury sector. There is a misconception that recycled paper is low-quality and fibrous. While this may have been the case over a decade ago, nowadays recycled paper can be clean, durable and almost indistinguishable from high-quality card and paper. New methods of recycling and manufacturing have allowed these papers to become viable alternatives in the premium packaging sector.

4. Less packaging, more value

The primary purpose of packaging is to protect the product inside. This is especially true with high-value goods in the premium sector. However, this does not mean that there needs to be an overload of materials used. Most consumers now prefer packaging that is restrained and just the right size to hold the product securely. Many packaging companies will start to cut down on excess materials in the near future. This will save a brand money and reduce their impact on the planet.

5. Shift to mono-materials

One of the greatest hurdles to recyclability is using multiple materials in a single pack. Composite packaging makes it difficult, sometimes even impossible, to recycle the discarded packs. Companies are starting to move towards mono-material packaging where only one type of substrate is used. While this may result in heavier and bulkier packs, the ease of processing the waste is simpler at the end of the day.

These are five shifts that have started to affect change in the luxury packaging sector. While many consumer goods brands have already started using these green solutions, the premium sector has been a bit more hesitant due to the possible drop in the perceived quality of their products. However, consumer demands have meant that these issues can no longer be postponed.

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Written by Joshua Oates

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