Guide

Design packaging to reduce environmental impacts

Reduce the environmental impact of packaging over its lifecycle

To ensure you minimise the environmental impact of your new packaging design, you should consider the product's entire lifecycle. You could seek advice from other organisations in your supply chain to help redesign your packaging.

Product lifecycle and packaging

The lifecycle and the environmental impact of your packaging can be influenced by:

To ensure you minimise the environmental impact of your products and packaging across their entire lifecycle, you can carry out a life cycle assessment (LCA).

Make sure you don't focus just on reducing waste and improving recyclability of packaging as this could lead to more negative environmental impacts, such as:

  • an increase in product wastage or packaging weight if secondary or tertiary packaging has to be used
  • a disincentive to use recycled paper and some plastics because they may need to be thicker to provide equal functionality
  • more waste for final disposal, even if a very high recycling rate is achieved
  • more vehicle movements to deliver the same quantity of product if the packaging is bulkier

Improve the sustainability of your packaging design

Sustainability means meeting the needs of the current generation without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs. You can consider sustainability in your packaging design in a number of ways including: