Attract Millennials to your Brand: Reduce Packaging Waste, Increase Recyclability

posted on 12th Nov 2018 by Steve Grunert

A definite hot topic in 2018 in the world of packaging is packaging waste. I was recently at a Bord Bia hosted night about the buying habits of millennials and how to attract their business. It spoke in depth on how this age group places great importance on the ethics and recyclability of the brands they purchase. So if your brand is to appeal to this increasingly affluent age category it is hugely important to ensure your brand uses the minimum amounts of packaging material and ensure the packaging you do use is as recyclable as possible.

So, let’s take a look at the best ways your brand can reduce packaging waste and increase recyclability.

Top Tip One: Use more recyclable materials

While many packs these days are made of recyclable plastic, not all of them are. Do you find yourself stuck with one of those unrecyclable plastic troublemakers? Try leaving it out altogether. Let’s say you are designing for a blow-dryer. Instead of opting for a blister pack, chances are you can just as easily come up with a cardboard solution.

We asked Adam West from Euroflex his thoughts on the matter: “We have had a big success this year with the substitution of APET/PE and PVC/PE to a MONO APET rigid film which allows the plastic trays to be classed as 100% recyclable. So within the sliced meat market, our customers can clearly state that 80% of the overall pack weight is now recyclable.”

Top Tip Two: Reduce your packaging weights

Ensuring you use the lightest possible thickness of plastic and paper substrate could be the easiest solution to reduce your packaging waste. There have been new innovations in stronger plastic substrates that allow lighter weight but deliver the same amount of strength. A very simple way to enable you to make a reduced packaging claim on your pack!

Top Tip Three: Is your product overpackaged?

Does your product uses a full outer box? Try changing to a cardboard sleeve. If you are in a sleeve, could you get away with just a label?

Top Tip Four: Use Biodegradable Packaging

At the recent packaging innovations show, we discovered the EARTHPOUCH – the world’s first plastic-free compostable food pouch. This amazing plastic free paper pouch is food grade and yet won’t harm the planet. Recently the brand “Your Organic Nature” launched a range of products using fully biodegradable packaging. While the packaging may look plastic, it’s actually a biofilm made of trees and plants that will break. Also, the stickers are fully natural and compostable.

Top Tip Five: Stuck with unrecyclable materials? Opt for reusability

Evidently, recyclable materials are the pivot of sustainable packaging design. Unfortunately, using recyclable materials is not always an option. If that is the case, then why not consider making the packaging reusable? Make it too practical and too beautiful to throw out!

Top Tip Six: Bag it!

If safety requirements don’t call for a box, choose flexible packaging instead. Pouches are remarkably lightweight and take up less room, allowing for more efficient shipping.

Top Tip Seven: Sustainable packaging design – soy ink, anyone?

Did you know that conventional inks are petroleum-based? Fortunately, there’s a great alternative at hand. Talk to your printer to find out if they’re willing to switch to soy-based inks! Contrary to petroleum-based inks, soy inks are made of renewable resources and don’t emit any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soy-based inks are a perfect environmentally friendly solution that does not affect indoor air quality nor pose any health risks whatsoever.

Steve Grunert, Creative Director.
Steve has a wealth of experience working some of Ireland’s most successful brands such as Flahavan’s, Barry’s Tea, Glenisk, Franciscan Well Brewery, Irish Pride, The Jelly Bean Factory and Aldi Supermarkets to name but a few. His love of all things food has helped him guide clients to the right packaging solutions, helping them to find their own distinct point of difference on shelf. If he’s not slaving away the latest packaging solution he’ll be out the back, firing up the barbeque and feeding the Neworld troops full of gourmet delights!