21/05/2021

Sustainable, Protective, Attractive Packaging - Can it Really be Done?

Being environmentally friendly is no longer seen as a passing phase, nor is it seen as a concept that should be the concern of just a select few. Treating the world we live in with respect is becoming an increasingly important message to society on a global scale and playing no small part in this is the use of sustainable packaging over single-use plastic.

The concept of sustainable packaging is now important to both consumers and brands as it become more evident that eco-friendly packaging could play a large part in lessening the impact we have on the environment. Whether this means eliminating single use plastics on products or looking at ways to become more recyclable and renewable, introducing eco packaging is no longer an option for brands, but instead, a necessity.

Manufacturers who have made the commitment to improving the sustainability of their packaging have two challenges on their hands. The first is the packaging itself; the second is its design.

What Is Sustainable Packaging?

In order to be sustainable, packaging should reduce its footprint on the environment over time, use ingredients that are raw or 100% recycled, come from a minimised production process (with a smaller carbon footprint) and be more reusable. McDonalds is amongst those companies who have made a commitment to sustainable packaging with the promise that all of their packaging will be 100% renewable and recycled by 2025. Of course, all this isn’t much use if the new packaging does not appeal to consumers.

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What Makes Attractive Packaging?

The ability to attract the attention of a consumer, and ultimately get them to put items in their basket is vital to brands in today’s highly competitive market, and this is particularly true for those brands looking to launch new products. Great packaging design can make or break a brand.

The right colours, design, and even the style of lettering that are used can all help to give the sort of shelf appeal that potential customers are subconsciously looking for, which is something that takes knowledge and experience to achieve. Those studying in the field of art and design could develop the creative skills and consumer knowledge to develop packaging designs that really make an impact on the consumer while reducing their environmental impact.

Who’s Getting it Right?

There are a number of big brands that have already hitched a ride on the sustainable packaging bandwagon and are managing to produce a packaging design that is every bit as attention grabbing and attractive as it always was. Waitrose has removed black plastic trays from its ready meal range, replacing them with trays that are not only recyclable but can also be home composted. The vibrant, colourful packaging of the Nestle “Yes” bar is also fully recyclable and something the company is hoping to roll-out to more of its product range.

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BA Art & Design with Foundation at the University of Bolton – Creativity for the future

For those students who have an eye on the future of sustainability, as well as a passion for creative design, Art & Design can open up a number of career paths; including those in sustainable packaging design.

At the University of Bolton, we offer an undergraduate BA Art & Design with Foundation course that will help you harness the skills for a rewarding career in a number of industries. Our knowledgable and passionate lecturers and state-of-the-art facilities can offer you the perfect setting for taking those rewarding first steps towards a career where creativity is a must.

The University of Bolton has been voted No.1 for Student Satisfaction for the past 3 years*. We offer a university experience that is welcoming, supporting and inclusive, putting your needs first so you can experience and enjoy #UniAsItShouldBe.

If you would like to learn more about the university or our art & design courses, we would be delighted to chat with you. You can contact our team of friendly advisors on +44 (0)1204 900 600 or send your query to enquiries@bolton.ac.uk.

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