Packaging is a serious component of all products. It needs to carry or contain the product. It needs to communicate the product’s ingredients. It needs to tell the company’s story. It needs to be visually compelling. And on top of all of that, if it’s going to make a company relevant to society, it needs to be sustainable. In other words, packaging needs to work on a lot of levels.
This keeps package designers and product engineers really busy trying to figure out how to tie all this stuff together. If a package works, but is expensive and inefficient to make, that’s not a solution. If a package is sustainable, but fails to function, that’s not a solution. If a package design looks good, but fails to keep the product intact or safe, that’s really not a solution.
It’s kind of like playing Jenga, which is why when someone gets it right it’s worth talking about. Method is a great example. Recently, they switched to 100 percent post consumer recycled packaging.
At WhiteWave, we recently had to grapple with these thoughts and concerns in redesigning our International Delight brand’s bottles. Previous designs didn’t work as well as we would have liked. They leaked. And more and more over the past few years, we recognized that the package designs didn’t meet our own emerging sustainability standards. We wanted to do better, so we started using sustainable plastic that requires less energy and water to create. The result? A 30 percent reduction in our carbon footprint vs. the previous design… and the bottle doesn’t leak anymore. Which is nice.