The end of single-use plastics and the future of packaging artwork

It’s no secret that single-use plastics are being phased out, with recycling and more sustainable products being used to replace them. At Partnership Design we are looking at how our graphic design should change, and how our designs for print will work with the newer packaging in order to create eye catching packaging artwork that still works for your products.

Good packaging design can differentiate one brand from the next on the shelf and is often the first way we interact with a product. It is a key way to get your core brand values across and to attract the right kind of customers.

While the packaging artwork has an extremely valuable role on the shelf, it’s important to think about what happens to it once the product has been purchased. Unless recycled, it goes into the bin, straight into landfill or could sadly end up in the ocean. We’ve all seen images of plastic-covered beaches and wildlife affected by plastic pollution. This has led to many businesses rethinking their product packaging and how graphic design can help to take a more responsible approach to creating it.

#StrawFreeChester is a local campaign to make Chester the first UK based city to drop single-use plastic straws, with many restaurants and bars now only offering fully compostable or biodegradable options to cut down plastic use.

With campaigns like this continuing to pop up around the country, it is important to consider how you can help as a business, and for graphic design agencies to look at how their packaging designs can be altered to fit this new purpose. Many companies, such as Waitrose, have developed new methods of packaging meals that once were packaged in hard-to-recycle black plastic containers, opting for more sustainable designs.

Recycled material

Simply using recycled material to create your packaging and other designs for print, such as product brochures, will not only be a better option for the impact on the environment but will appeal to customers who are seeking sustainable options, thus creating brand loyalty.

Could you reduce the amount of packaging per product?

This Easter we noticed a definite change in the way some eggs were packaged. Certain companies opted to remove the cardboard and plastic altogether, wrapping the eggs in foil only. Reducing the packaging isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the graphic design choices made on the artwork can still create a strong brand message and make a lasting impression.

Single material packaging

When looking at sending your designs for print you could consider using a single material. A cardboard box is easy for the consumer to recycle, but if the packaging has a plastic window or inner lining it can become more difficult to separate and dispose of responsibly.

With so much to think about when designing your packaging artwork, let our experience guide you. We can help with not only the design but sourcing materials, choosing manufacturers and implementing a launch strategy for your product. Get in touch today to find out more.