Sustainable packaging

    Packaging forms an essential part of all products. Made from a variety of materials, its primary job is to contain, protect, preserve and aid the successful delivery of goods from the producer to the end-user.

    In an increasingly competitive market, businesses must think carefully about resources, design and the consumer messaging function that packaging fulfills.

    packaging on a conveyer belt-1

    The use of certain materials, such as single-use plastic, have come under increased scrutiny as consumers and governments become more aware of the consequences of resource utilization, and how connected the design, supply and disposal elements of the packaging supply chain are handled. More regulation, material restrictions and limitations, plus changing demands from consumers are collectively driving change in sustainable packaging markets. 

    Packaging design has come a long way in the last 20 years and material technologies allow us great creativity and possibility for how goods are packaged.

    With more choice comes greater challenge and questions to address:

    • Are businesses considering the full breadth of factors that now affect the form, function and presentation of packaging?
    • With so many options available, which one is best and is this right for you?
    • What impact will the future policy measures have on our plans and choices?
    • Where will the secondary commodity market be in the next 2 to 3 years?

    Our approach to sustainable packaging

    packaging lifecycle(2)The Anthesis packaging team is ideally positioned to help your cause with expertise across all stages of the packaging process, including sustainable chemistry, producer responsibility, carbon analytics and software systems to give these insights meaning and clarity.

    We also work closely with external stakeholders across the whole supply chain - material suppliers, manufacturers, brand owners, retailers, the waste industry and local authorities.

    Our offering is entirely adaptable to the need of our clients but it's likely your issue, and the solution available, will fall into one or cover a number of these five main areas: 

    • Alternative packaging reviews
    • Product sustainability calculator
    • Compliance
    • Materials
    • Sourcing and advice
    • Recycled content guidance
    • Consumer considerations
    • Design for recyclability
    • Specification guidance
    • Sustainable sourcing and responsible procurement
    • Supply chain trials
    • Environmental impact assessments
    • Supplier engagement
    • Consumer trials for new packaging
    • Recyclability messaging and communication
    • Recycling labelling
    • Best use by consumer practices
    • Reuse/disposal routes for material difficult to handle materials e.g. flexible packaging
    • Compositional and operational waste audits
    • Trials for end use of materials
    • Best practice guidance
    • Recycling and waste policies
    • Supply chain trials
    • Benchmarking and best practice identification
    • Resource efficiency reviews and recommendations
    • PRN compliance, guidance and pricing
    • Recycling messaging and labelling

    But what exactly can you do when it comes to making your packaging more sustainable? 

    Here are some specific examples of how we can support you:

    • New packaging launch
    • Pack optimisation review
    • Plastic packaging targets (defining targets and/or delivering)
    • Design packaging for recyclability 
    • Assessing reuse vs single use options
    • Packaging and supply chain trials 
    • Industry wide collaboration projects
    • Lifecycle assessment of product/packaging options

    Case Studies and projects

    We've provided support to a wide range of organisations to assess, design and implement changes through the packaging supply chain with food and drink to electronics and IT sectors and many in between. We work to identify, solve, and deliver these changes with our clients. 

    Trial for reducing food and packaging waste in the supply chain

    egg box pulpWe worked with Tesco and its suppliers to help tackle packaging-related product damage, as well as the associated waste and carbon impacts for Tesco's egg supply chain.

    Egg boxes were changed from pulp to rPET across Tesco’s free-range eggs and trialed for 11 weeks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    As well as this, 12 pack egg boxes were reconfigured from 2x6 to 3x4. The performance of the rPET was evaluated using a range of quantitative and qualitative data captured during the trial.

    Industry working group coordination and leadership for the paper cup industry.

    The Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group is managed, coordinated and delivered through Anthesis, with a team of packaging, materials and design analysts and experts supporting the entire breadth of the paper cup supply chain.

    We've helped the PCRRG develop position statements and consultation responses on topical and political issues arising in the on the go sector, such as takeaway coffee cups. The PCRRG has been recognised by the UK government as a positive impact industry led solution to the challenges of ‘on the go’ consumption through its Design, Consumer Behaviour and Recycling and Infrastructure working groups.

    Meeting plastics packaging targets for an international retailer

    We completed a six month project to support a large European retailer to set up their plastic and packaging reduction targets. This involved working with the internal Corporate Social Responsibility team, buyers and suppliers to establish a baseline, strategy of change and a monitoring and reporting programme going forward.