Rethink packaging-product configuration

Improve packaging intrinsic environmental impact

Packaging innovation is often initiated from a simple and precise point of view. End users (brand owners) would like to target a drastic packaging change with no other modifications. On the other hand, packaging providers target very specific applications and try to optimize the technology regarding this target. Unfortunately, these innovation approaches do not systematically lead to viable technical solutions from the point of view of all the constraints of market access. It is, therefore, necessary to question the market targets (for packaging providers) or (from the point of view of the brand owner) consider an innovation process with wider consequences than just changing the packaging.

It is sometimes much easier to design a packaging if its specifications are "negotiable", i.e. if the processes, technological routes, the packaged product, consumer targets (...) can be modified together with the optimization of the packaging itself. Rethinking product packaging innovation more generally makes it easier to find viable solutions with lower environmental impact.

Scientific based reccomendations and insights for practical applications
Comments, links

Brand owner

Can my food process, conditioning equipment, shelf life target, and consumer profile (…) be changed to target less severe packaging specifications? What are the benefits to access more easily to better sustainable packaging?

Packaging provider

Can I change the applications/markets targeted initially for my new packaging technology? For each of these alternative markets, what constraints are lifted, what are the opportunities to use the technology with less (impacting) technical adaptations, what are the consequences in terms of environmental interest?

Make a SWOT analysis for the comparison of all alternatives.

Even if the developed solutions are environmentally friendly, are they acceptable by the consumer? If not, do I have a solution targetting a specific market associated with consumer categories showing much higher acceptability?

LUSH is a cosmetics brand that has reformulated their personal care products like hand soap into a dry soap bar, removing the water and thus drastically reducing the amount of packaging material.

Raw Paints removed liquid components from paints, drastically reducing the weight and volume of traditional paint cans (KIDV article)

Holcim re-engineered their packaging, creating a fibre-based bag that can be added with the cement itself into the mixer

Eosta by laser etching suitable fruit & vegetables, this organisation applies the required marking on their products, removing the need to add a sticker