“Re-use, Re-duce, Re-cycle”. These three words have now become the “mantra” of the sustainable approach to packaging design. We, however, want to add a fourth: Re-thinking. Because the real challenge of proposing eco-friendly packaging solutions is to succeed in a cultural evolution oriented towards eco-design of the packaging and, therefore, the redesign of the packaging at all stages of its life cycle.
From raw material to recyclability passing through the efficiency of resources and production processes, through the primary functions of packaging and transport, everything must be rethought to reduce the environmental impact.
You can redesign a packaging to make it more sustainable by following different paths, let’s see them together.
Eco-design of the raw material
Rethinking packaging starting from the raw material means identifying organic materials, more compatible with the environment and able to guarantee the primary protective functions of the packaging.
At Maca we do it with innovative, completely organic and compostable packaging capable of retaining liquids and performing the same protective function as plastic for food. The innovative pack is created in collaboration with PFM with an untreated paper film + materbi, a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil-based plastics that guarantees significant advantages:
- The origin from renewable resources
- The biodegradability
The packaging can, in fact, be disposed in the organic waste collection for subsequent industrial composting. When it is not possible to use organic raw materials, it is possible to use the new and innovative plastic packaging. Pouches, for example, are an alternative solution to rigid packaging that saves more and pollutes less.
They offer resistance, safety and conservation with the use of 70% less plastic.
In addition, by occupying 97% less space during the transport and disposal phase, they optimize loads and drastically reduce the use of fuels.
Eco-design of the production process
Rethinking the packaging production process means implementing innovative production methods that use energy from renewable sources, capable of reducing energy consumption per unit produced, reducing waste and allowing less use of raw materials.
This is the case of stretch sleeves, labels that are able to fully dress the primary packaging, whatever its shape, like heat-shrink labels, but without the use of heat, only thanks to their elasticity. Beyond the huge energy savings, given by the absence of heat, stretch sleeves also allows to reduce the use of raw material. This type of label is smaller and also less thick than the homologous shrink sleeve.
Learn more about the differences in this article
But there is more, because this solution meets eco-design requirements also in terms of facilitating recycling. Thanks to the very low specific weight of the label, the absence of glue and the possibility of making pre-drilled guides useful for easily separating the label from the primary packaging, this solution is designed to allow proper disposal and facilitate recycling as much as possible.
Eco-design and everyday life
Eco-design also refers to the packaging solutions that we have nominated for the 2022 Edition of the Conai competition for the eco-design of packaging in the circular economy – Enhancing the environmental sustainability of packaging.
Packaging of products that are part of the daily routine and, for this reason, necessarily had to be rethought to minimize their impact on the environment.
For us at Maca, eco-design means redesigning the packaging to make it 100% recyclable, optimizing the production process to reduce energy consumption, making resources more efficient to limit waste and generate less plastic waste.
Only in this way we will be able to make a valuable contribution to environmental sustainability.
With an eco-design approach we can obtain packaging with a low environmental impact and which is part of a circular economy system where packaging is no longer considered a simple waste, but a new resource.