Sustainable packaging appeals to the conscientious customer. Our global trend specialists focus on emerging packaging trends to help you turn tomorrow’s innovative concepts into today’s eco-friendly reality.

Sustainable packaging has quickly risen to become a key concern with consumers. It tells consumers that you are a responsible brand that shares their eco-friendly values. Switching your focus to ethical packaging trends will help to cement your place in the minds of your customers as a brand that prioritises the health of the planet.

Ethical packaging was once something that only a small handful of dedicated eco-pioneers produced. Today it is firmly in the mainstream and brands must quickly adopt sustainable solutions to their packaging requirements, otherwise lose sales to more conscientious competitors.

As the trend has grown, the focus is no longer solely on what the packaging is made from. These days the circular economy plays a big part in ethical packaging trends. Consumers not only want to use less packaging, but they also want their packaging to be designed in such a way that it can be reused, recycled, or composted.

What are the benefits of ethical packaging?

As well as the obvious benefits to the environment, sustainable packaging offers significant benefits to the businesses that use it.

Many countries are now offering ‘green’ tax relief, and even exemptions, for environmentally friendly businesses. In the UK, the government has revealed plans to introduce a plastic packaging tax for all manufactured or imported plastic packaging with insufficient recycled content. Also, investing in sustainable packaging can help to reduce material usage, lower production costs, and cut down on transportation rates.

Ethical packaging can also improve your brand image. It can help you to stand out from your competitors and let your customers know that you care about more than just profits. It can also help you to improve customer loyalty amongst conscientious consumers by showing a genuine dedication to the environment.

In the age of social media, ethical packaging is heavily shared on social channels such as Instagram, which can promote your brand to a whole new customer base.

Also, if you want to attract and retain top notch employees, ethical packaging can help with this. Studies show that the millennials that are driving the shift to eco-friendly products are motivated to work for businesses that share their values.

Last, but not least, ethical packaging is proven to increase sales. According to a study by Dotcom Distribution, 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands using sustainable packaging. This figure increases to 74% among 18-29 year olds; so, if that age group is one of your key demographics, you’ll be missing out on a huge chunk of revenue if you stick with your unethical packaging range.

Which sustainable packaging trends are right for your business?

In light of all the media and statistics around plastic pollution, many big brands are finally jumping on the issue. Supermarkets are committing to going plastic free which is leading to manufacturers innovating in earnest to create plastic free alternatives to packaging materials. 

Post-consumer materials that upcycle previously used products are key to sustainable packaging. We are also seeing a massive rise in cutting-edge packaging materials such as algae, bamboo, ‘Paptic’, and compostable ‘plastic’.

Reducing the amount of packaging should be a vital part of your strategy. Consider how you can get down to as little packaging as possible. Working with a packaging design specialist like Tagit could show you areas where material usage could be greatly reduced, whilst maintaining the protection and/or display capacity required.

‘Mono Material’ is another ethical packaging trend that you could consider. As the name suggests, mono material packaging consists of one single material. By ensuring that the entirety of your product’s packaging is made from the same recyclable material, you simplify the recycling efforts of both the consumer, and their local recycling plant. It also removes any ambiguity from the messaging on your packaging about which areas can be recycled, and which can’t.

Finally, consider the ‘afterlife’ potential of your packaging. Is there any way that your packaging can be used as something else once the product has been removed? If so, you will appeal to consumers who are attracted to packaging that contributes to the circular economy.

Ethical packaging trends in summary

Cheap, flexible, multipurpose plastic has been the ubiquitous material in our packaging for far too long, to the huge detriment of our environment. Eco-conscious consumers are putting massive amounts of pressure on brands to step up, or lose out.

Historically, large prominent brands have relied on their name and reputation as a guarantee of sales. In the age of the ethical consumer, that guarantee has gone. Sustainability is now the key deciding factor when consumers are choosing where to spend their money.

Since the start of the shift towards sustainability, Tagit has been producing ethical packaging trend forecasts to help our customers compile new eco-friendly packaging strategies. By working closely with a company like Tagit, you can benefit from our insight into customer perception, and reinvent your packaging in a way that will entice and satisfy today’s principled consumers. 

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your ethical packaging trend requirements.

James Rowland is the Managing Director of Tagit Ltd, which he co-founded in 1996. His passion for all things related to design and packaging came from working in the art department of a packaging firm after leaving school in the late 80s. He taught himself to run the litho printers and die cutting machinery, and built up the production arm of the UK business. James’ entire career has been centred around the innovation, design and production of jewellery and accessory packaging, which is why Tagit attracts and retains clients around the globe. James cares deeply for the environment and has made it his mission to offer the best recyclable and sustainable packaging solutions for his customers, even if it affects the profitability of Tagit.