Sustainability remains top of the agenda for food and drink businesses, driven by an ever increasing demand from consumers who want to know their purchase is eco-friendly. As a result, the world of packaging design is undergoing an exciting eco-transformation. This FoodE blog explains what options there are for choosing eco-friendly packaging and gives some of our favourite examples:

Package-less packaging

Challenging conventional norms, this option eliminates excess material and reduces waste. Whilst this might not work for all products, this minimalist approach reduces environmental impact and reinforces a brand’s commitment to sustainability. Companies are tackling waste reduction by simply cutting down on how much packaging they are using as well as the chosen materials. A great example of this is how many beer, cider & soft drink companies have opted to ditch both plastic rings and large unnecessary boxes in favour of a simple cardboard top that still allows customers to pick up ‘packs’ of cans or bottles with less waste.

Edible packaging 

A novel concept which merges functionality with sustainability. Edible alternatives are often made from natural ingredients, which offer a biodegradable solution to single-use packaging, minimising harm to the environment.  Wenwen Fan are on a mission to make packaging that has nutritional value through the use of seaweed! Seaweed has been identified as a sustainable, nutritional superfood for future generations that also applies itself well as a form of packaging, and makes up a number of future examples of edible packaging.

Paper-pulp packaging 

An innovative approach which utilises recycled materials to create biodegradable and compostable packaging solutions. By harnessing the versatility of paper pulp, brands can achieve both aesthetic appeal and environmental sustainability. Many labelling producers will now offer this option as an easy way to ensure your labels contain a percentage of pulp. JDE Peet’s are a great example of a shift towards paper packaging with their new coffee bags using more than 85% paper. These packs use 97% less packaging than a standard 200g glass jar and still keep the coffee fresh for 15 months.

Biopolymers 

A great choice for brands offering biodegradable and compostable products, necessitating packaging with similar properties. There has also been a surge in demand for fibre-based materials and non-wood fibres, with leaves, bamboo, and sugarcane emerging as alternatives. FoodE spotted this great example from Robinsons appearing across stores. The new Robinsons ‘Ecopack’ carton is made from ‘89% plant-based materials’. They are aiming for more servings per pack as well as an overall reduction in plastic content.

In conclusion:

As climate change continues to shape consumer preferences, the demand for sustainable packaging solutions will only intensify. Branding and packaging experts are tasked with finding creative ways to marry aesthetics with sustainability, driving positive change in the industry.  

By embracing innovative design solutions, brands can not only reduce their carbon footprint but also inspire others to follow suit.


About FoodE

FoodE by Oak Creative is an e-commerce platform specifically for food & drink businesses. FoodE was designed and built by Oak Creative, Kent’s leading branding agency. Having worked with many food and drinks businesses over the last 30 years, their branding expertise combined with their technical know-how led them to develop FoodE.  Today our passion is to help businesses grow their brand and their sales, online and offline.