Sustainable Packaging Trends — How Brands And Companies Must Adapt


Today’s market is full of consumers more educated and aware than ever. Environmentalism and sustainability is at the forefront of their minds, and social media has made it all the more easier for these consumers to share information quickly.

For this reason, image has become the most important thing for today’s businesses, with sustainability coming in as a leading marketing key. In order to maintain an eco-friendly image, companies must do everything they can to ensure sustainable and environmentally friendly tactics are being employed on an everyday basis.

But a company’s image no longer depends solely on perceptions of customer service, branding, and the product itself. In today’s world the focus has shifted to include the packaging as well.

As a result we have been seeing new trends popping up around the world towards more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging techniques. By closely looking at and considering these trends you will help show your customers that you value their opinions and hopes for an environmentally friendly business while simultaneously committing to make less of a negative impact on the planet.

According to packaging experts there are key trends to look out for in the upcoming years.

#1 Limiting Waste

The first trend we will see is perhaps not a jump on the newest of ideas, but rather a more dedicated effort towards the actual achievement of it. By minimizing unnecessary waste companies are demonstrating, in the clearest of ways, their dedication to the environment.

Of course, there are quite a few ways to accomplish this, starting from recycling practices to electronic communication and more.

However, there is another not-so-often thought of technique that can help businesses reach these “green” goals and improve on their image; print inspection. By including print inspection in their quality control practices, companies are able to drastically assist in the prevention of massive recalls of their products. When these recalls are immensely diminished, there is a huge impact on unnecessary waste thus promoting sustainability.

The more a company is able to advertise an eco-friendly image, the better the perception of the company becomes in today’s sustainability driven market.

#2 Clear Labelling

The second trend we will see on the rise will be clearer and more concise labelling of products. A clear label is the first impression made on potential clients by a company, and as such it must be interesting, visually appealing, and able to deliver the pointed message a company wishes to get across.

By making the labeling of products concise and clear, consumers will be able to identify important information, usage, methods of disposal, and recycling quicklier and easier, thus providing better support for your businesses sustainability claims.

According to some of the experts in the field, being honest with customers will go far and by giving people clearly labeled products, you can allow your customers to feel better informed and more aware.

#3 Lightweight Packaging

Thirdly, there will be more movement towards lightweight packaging. This is very intriguing being that there are benefits for both the business and the consumer. In an effort for greater efficiency, less material is used to create the packaging due to the desire for a seemingly lighter methods.

As a result, costs are significantly diminished for the company. Less physical packaging, less spending. Additionally, the environmental impact is also lowered due to less materials being thrown into landfills. The less waste that a consumer sees, the better.

The key to strong lightweight packaging techniques is the balance between cost effectiveness and consumer perceptions.

#4 Recyclable Materials

Continually, we have seen the increase in use of recyclable materials, arguably the easiest way to ensure eco-friendly impact on the planet. By dedicating themselves to the usage of materials like cardboard, paper, and recyclable plastics companies are showing their consumers the level of commitment they truly have towards sustainability.

Everyday, more and more businesses are looking for alternative, environmentally conscious materials to work with. However, the use of constantly recycled materials can lead to some difficulty due to the eventual deterioration. As such, companies must do their best to promote recycling whilst also ensuring their usage of sustainable materials where recyclables cannot be used.

#5 Edible Packaging

The fifth trend we will notice is possibly one of the most interesting and intriguing. Experts believe that edible packaging will be the next big thing in sustainable packaging ideas.

In order to reach goals of achieving maximum eco-friendly status, edible packaging would essentially eliminate packaging waste all together and there are many companies taking steps towards this ideal. However, there are multiple challenges that come with this trend including logistic issues like the packaging falling apart, to consumers believing it to be unhygienic.

Despite these issues though, this is a trend which is quickly gaining traction among multiple businesses including Snact, a UK based snack company.

#6 Packaging Slim Down

Finally, the last trend to see a considerable rise in popularity is the slimming down of packaging.

Instead of being sent smaller items in standard size boxes, business are now moving towards creating custom packaging for their products in order to save on space and materials. As with lightweight packaging techniques, this approach will benefit both the company and the consumer in terms of cost effectiveness and environmental impact.

These efforts will quickly be noticed by consumers who will take into account the better value in your packaging strategy as well as your dedication to “greeness”.


As the market consumer base gets more actively interested in sustainability, so to must businesses in order to survive. Already we see companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola making strong commitments to sustainable packaging for their products.

In the future we will see more companies embrace eco-friendly approaches to their businesses with the ultimate goal being both profitability as well as limiting negative planetary effects.

As the years go on, it’s been shown that customers are choosing more and more products and brands which promote sustainability and eco-friendliness. With a more educated and conscious consumer, businesses must change in order to survive.

Adapting to these preferences and applying these sustainable trends will allow companies to grow in the environmentally driven markets of the future.

About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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