We should embrace the challenge of reducing packaging

In response to Jim Davies’ piece ‘It’s all in the packaging’ (DW 22 May), I agree that the drive for packaging reduction is challenging for our industry.

Where the packaging is the product (perfume, for instance), it is a shame if the design is compromised for the sake of saving waste.

However, for the vast majority of grocery products, it is essential that we reduce the amount of waste.

Rather than hanker after the good old days when we could pack a salad in a plastic tray with a wrap-around carton sleeve and a promotional sticker for good measure, let’s embrace the challenge by using our expertise to communicate character and differentiation in smaller spaces.

Guy Douglass, Managing director, FLB, Cheltenham GL50 3AW

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  • Maria-Ana Neves November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Here is a thought provocative idea to challenge Jim Davies feature (DW 22.May):
    In the future…we will design packaging without waste.

    As we know, packaging is essential for functional reasons such as transport, protection, usability and easy ability as much as for emotional reasons such as inform, differentiate, seduce and in various cases to leverage product/brand value.
    So we need it, love it and there is no reason to fear it will be banished.

    The question is why packaging has to become waste?

    I believe we only have waste because we think we have to have it.

    It is not because we consume more that we have waste. It is due to design failure, incorrect choice of materials, lack of awareness, wrong behaviour and choices, poor eco-system thinking or lack of triple bottom line strategy.

    If waste is a design fault (Robin Murray-Zero Waste) we can design for no waste.

    Today’s business and design challenge is how to develop innovative and thrilling packaging that will not become waste, neither ask consumers to change their lifestyles or even make us pay more to do the right choice.

    It’s an exercise of imagination, technology and science, business and brain power, combined with serious human and cultural insights.

    It is as ambitious as the idea of a man on the moon…but this one, we have evidence of how nature does it.

    Design for no waste may well be the next biggest competitive advantage for brands and businesses…and a great opportunity for design thinking to be applied at strategic level of brands, businesses and across the packaging stakeholders.

    Maria-Ana Neves
    Design and Branding Strategist – London

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