Sustainable packaging continues to be more widely implemented all over the world. Food waste prevention, biodegradable packaging components, and the adoption of eco-friendly labels encourage consumers to recycle packaging. Many businesses however are still struggling to incorporate sustainable packaging into their design process. Meeting sustainability objectives can be costly, especially when it comes to all the changes that must be implemented. But as several studies have found, sustainable packaging can be a great way to increase a company’s profitability.
Determine your Objectives
Before deciding which innovative materials or designs to include in its strategy, a business must first determine clear objectives. This includes defining what exactly sustainability means to an organization. Without this vision in place, it can be difficult to determine where to focus resources and how to add value to the business.
Here are a few key questions that should be considered:
- What are the social and environmental impacts of your company’s packaging throughout its lifecycle?
- How does that compare to your product’s impact?
- What issues do your customers and stakeholders care about?
Answering these questions will help determine which issues are essential to your company and will help with outlining your primary goals.
Execute your Sustainable Packaging Strategy
If sustainable packaging is a new concept in your business, a good place to start is by assigning new people, tools, additional time, and budget. Once a capable and skillful workforce has been established, resources can be focused on the packaging design phase. Investing in both tools and training is essential to meeting sustainability objectives.
UPM Raflatac is a company that works hard to create sustainable practices within its workforce and ensure responsible working methods. The company has developed concepts and sustainable practices that can serve as an example to other companies looking to do the same.
UPM Raflatac has a responsible sourcing framework to ensure that its materials come from legal and responsible sources. Their factories have management systems and targets of minimizing pollution, energy, water, waste, and air emissions. According to UPM Raflatac, the biggest environmental challenge of the self-adhesive label industry is waste. To manage this, they have developed a recycling solution called RafCycle™ that turns used release liners and label byproducts into graphic paper, composite materials, and energy.
Though developing complete recycling solutions is not feasible for every company, most businesses can aim to limit waste production and resource usage, creating processes that are more efficient and cost-effective. Small steps companies can take include switching to energy-efficient bulbs, minimizing the amount of water used, and limiting packaging waste where possible.
Quality Control to Maintain Sustainability
Sustainability is not just about changing your design process or using less packaging material, but also reducing the amount of wasted packaging in your workflow and post-purchase. A big part of this can be achieved by preventing misprints in production that can result in entire batches of printed packaging components being thrown away. To combat this, there are many quality control measures that can contribute to achieving sustainability.
Automated quality control processes are transforming the way we prevent errors in packaging. From providing lower error rates to producing consistent and repeatable results, this type of technology can assist many businesses in reducing printed waste, helping to save time and materials so companies can focus more resources on sustainability efforts. GlobalVision, as a pioneer in automated quality control, offers an inspection platform that is capable of inspecting both digital and printed components to ensure that packaging makes it to market error-free.