Sustainable Packaging: Reducing Material

The holidays are nearly here and the season is a great opportunity to talk about packaging and sustainability.  According to the EPA, household waste in the US increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and  New Year’s Day (1).  This includes food, gift wrap and of course packaging.  While, it may be too late to sustainability package your product for this holiday season, it doesn’t hurt to think about more about sustainable packaging options for future project.

When thinking about sustainable packaging the first thing that comes to mind is utilizing sustainable and recyclable material-materials like molded fiber and kraft board.  Of course this is very important and we will discuss this in detail in the upcoming weeks, but another important area to aid sustainability is to reduce the size of your package or reduce the amount of material used.

One high profile example of this is Hershey’s miniatures packaging.   In 2014, Hershey’s redesigned the packaging to reduce the size of the wrapper.  This not only reduced the amount of paper consumed, but also improved the  cost of the material, and had an impact fuel efficiency.  If Hershey’s can create this much improvement through modifying their wrapper, imagine the savings that can be found within the packaging programs of larger products!


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