If it’s not recyclable, pack innovation has no long-term value

A couple of weeks ago you ran a story on Constellation Europe’s wine packaging (www. designweek.co.uk, 20 October).

Clever it may be, but designing packaging today is surely about ‘reducing, recycling and reusing’.

Although the components of a product like this may be individually recyclable, it is how the combined materials are disposed of by the end-user that must be at the forefront of any new idea.

Will you or I separate the foil bag, plastic components and card before putting them into our waste bins? I doubt it.

Interacting with the consumer to ensure that a product is easy to recycle should drive pack design.

A packaging solution with multiple materials will consume lots of energy during manufacture, and will need several logistics companies to bring all the components to the assembly site.

It’s refreshing to see innovation, but it’s too easy to label a product environmentally friendly when there is so much more to it than just using recyclable materials.
Karl Barber, by e-mail

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