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How to Choose & Design Sustainable Packaging

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You have to know what you want before you can achieve it. Every step towards becoming a more sustainable Consumer Packaged Goods Company must be informed by a clear vision. Well-defined sustainability goals – with the twists and turns of trends factored in – will be the map that guides decisions when choosing and designing sustainable packaging that’s right for you and your customers.

In a landscape where your customers make purchasing decisions based on sustainability, you feel the demand for sustainable packaging. But where do you start?

At Sonoco, our first suggestion is always to take some time to think about your company’s overarching sustainability strategy. What is your company most interested in? What has your company already committed to? For example:

  • Emission Reduction
  • Food Waste Reduction
  • Material Reduction
  • Recyclability

Once you’ve pinpointed your corporate strategies, think about your customers’ sustainability strategies. Many retailers strive to be in-tune with consumer preferences. You should find the places where company and customer desires intersect. Be sure to also consider trends such as the rise of e-commerce. Where does sustainability fit into your plans when you need packaging that’s protective without being wasteful? The intersection of these trends, company strategies, and customer strategies can inform decision makers when choosing the right sustainable packaging design.

If your roadmap isn’t clear yet, that’s okay. To help you think about multiple variables, we’ve outlined 10 key considerations to guide you as you choose and design sustainable packaging. Use this “how-to” resource, and your well-informed vision will lead you to reach your maximum potential! 

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Once you’ve finished your roadmap, be sure to check out another sustainability resource, 20 Questions Commonly Asked About Packaging Sustainability, Materials, Labeling and Recycling. In this eBook we detail 20 need-to-knows about sustainable packaging considerations and terminology.