Sustainable Packaging

Packing Tape

The Ultimate Guide To Sustainable Packaging

The Ultimate Guide To Sustainable Packaging



Everyone knows the word, it’s become the latest and greatest thing to be – Sustainable. 

But sustainable packaging is on the rise, and fast. It’s now, more than ever, a top concern to brands and consumers throughout the entire world. 

  • Coca-Cola has announced they will help collect and recycled 100% of the packaging they sell by 2030
  • Mars is working towards 100% recyclable packaging by 2025
  • McDonald’s have set goals for 100% renewable and recycled packaging by 2025

These are just a few top companies around the world doing their bit to become sustainable. But even small and medium businesses can have an impact. Just starting small, switching one piece of packaging to a more sustainable version, or sourcing from a local supplier instead of the far east. 


Why are brands doing this? 

You should know the answer to this …

Here are some statistics to help out:

  1. 73% of UK consumers say paper or cardboard packaging is important when considering the sustainability of a brand
  2. 77% state brands should use as little packaging as possible
  3. 66% say it’s important that packaging can be recycled

And that’s just 3 stats, there are thousands out there backing up the importance of sustainable packaging.

Back at school, you were most likely taught about the 3R’s? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Today, it’s a necessity to reflect the values, not only as businesses, but as individuals.

Let’s have a look, what actually determines packaging that is sustainable?

Sustainability inthe world and packaging

What Is Sustainable Packaging?

In a sentence, it’s packaging which reduces it’s environmental impact and carbon footprint over time. This can happen by:

  • using 100% recycled materials from renewable resources
  • minimising the production process, supply chain and carbon footprint
  • creating a circular economy for packaging, extending its life cycle
  • recycling, biodegrading and composting

Basically, with the growing concern for the planet, environmental packaging is there to help reduce the impact on the environment, but also the social and economic factors.

You may think paper packaging is the most sustainable because it comes from trees. Well, yes you are right, but if the paper doesn’t come from a sustainably certified manufacturer with the correct certification, it may not be as sustainable as you think. So, remember, when looking for paper packaging, ask to see the products certification. 

FSC Logo

FSC is a common certification – Forest Stewardship Council. They manage forests which are used for manufacturing, and ensure that it’s done sustainably.

Always check with your supplier, there are so many fake and misleading “Eco-friendly” products out there. Labeling something as “Sustainable”, doesn’t mean it is if it hasn’t got the certification to prove it.

Who Has Embraced Sustainable Packaging?

FACT: By 2025, our oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish! Wow! That is a fact and a half. These statistics aren’t uncommon and are terrifyingly scary when you come across them.

Now we know and understand a bit about what sustainable packaging is, lets take a look at some companies who have implemented it into their business.

H&M Unique, bespoke packaging


A well known fashion brand based in Sweden, focused on fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children. They designed a shopping bag which was multi-purpose, a clever design to make customer reuse their packaging. Not only was it a standard bag for carrying goods, it could be transformed into a hanger for your clothes! Plus it was made from 80% recycled paper.

Zara sustainable packaging


Another fashion brand, with targets to hit zero waste by 2025. They’ve put in place reusable bags and boxes. Their cardboard boxes can be reused 5 times before being recycled into a new box.

Gucci Bags


The well-known Gucci brand for many layers of packaging. But they have now cut down on excess packaging altogether and gift boxes are only given if requested. Plus it’s all 100% recyclable!

Why Sustainable Packaging Is A Must

As you know, sustainability is increasingly common among small, medium, and large organisations. So, you need to stay a step ahead of your competitors, make the move to the eco-friendly package, tell your consumers that you’ve made the move and be proud of reducing your environmental impact.

But, it’s not only consumers driving brands to change to sustainable packaging …

Corporations like Unilever Australia are putting pressure on governments to do more in relation to plastic pollution. Leading to:

  • Consumers wanting to purchase from brands with an eco focus
  • Large organisations spearheading the initiative to help their public image
  • Small-Medium businesses being forced to follow and implement the sustainability.

Also, with the new plastic tax, more and more businesses are looking to find a solution to avoid it. The solution being – Sustainable Packaging.

When people say “switch to sustainable packaging”, most people immediately think it requires a huge investment, but it doesn’t. And sustainable packaging doesn’t compromise on feature or function.

Let’s have a look at this from a different angle. 

Your product is on a shelf at the store, directly next to your competitors.

The consumer picks both up to see which is best. They need something to push them towards one of the products. 

On the side of yours, it states “This box is made with 100% recycled paper, it’s fully recyclable. Doing our bit to protect the planet, are you?”



Top Tips For Switching To Eco-Friendly Packaging

If you’re considering going “green” with your packaging (which we highly recommend), here are a few tips to get you started on the right track.

Cosmetic Packaging
  1. TAKE YOUR TIME – Whether you sell 1 product, or thousands, take one step at a time. Don’t try and make everything happen in a day. Focus on 1 product, what can you do to make it more sustainable. Then test, test, test, test. Then you can start implementing it onto other products.
  2. ASK FOR SAMPLES – Testing your packaging is important. Ask your supplier for a sample, or a demo on the packaging. Trial out different types and pick the best one for your product.
  3. ADJUST YOUR PRICING – Sustainable packaging is known to be slightly higher than other packaging, it would be a wise idea to add the costs into your product prices.
  4. ORDER SMALL VOLUMES – To start with, test how your consumers react to the new packaging, gather their feedback, test different sizes, types and shapes. Ask your team members, employees, suppliers. Once everyone agrees, scale up your order and ask for a bulk discount.
  5. MARKET YOUR CHANGE – This is an important one. A brand making a change to lessen their environmental impact is what the world wants to hear. It will boost your brand awareness and stand out from the crowd.

Rounding Up …

There you have it, the guide on sustainable packaging. 

As a family run business, Sustabio focuses on the sustainable packaging, and work closely with brands to create the perfect package. It’s our responsibility to look after the planet and help our consumers do the same. 

Our friendly in-house team are always open to questions, give us a call, drop an email, or use the live chat. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Becoming eco-friendly is imperative in today’s world. With 72% choosing sustainable brands, retailers need to do their bit to protect the planet to bolster customer loyalty. The Sustabio mission is to help those brands reduce their environmental impact quickly and easily.

Support Centre

Visit Us

Mill House, Troy Road, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5TN

Sustabio Logo, Background

Make your packaging unique, memorable and sustainable

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Get daily insight, new product launches and sustainability tips straight to your inbox.

Sustabio Logo, Background