Sustainable Packaging with Beth from noissue

We spoke with Beth (Content Strategist and resident unboxing expert at noissue,) a  sustainable packaging brand based in New Zealand about sustainable packaging and where to start this journey as an eco brand. Eco/Green brands are always evolving and making their brand more appealing to the conscious consumer. As an emerging eco brand this may be a journey and Beth from No Issue gives us some great tips about sustainable packaging design, choosing a packaging design which works across multiple sales channels and tips on how you can give make your packaging multi-purpose.

The role of packaging in sustainable branding
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But when it comes to sustainable brands,  the opposite is true! The ‘cover’, or rather packaging, of your product is incredibly important. Why? Because it’s one of the key ways your customer assesses your eco-friendliness. In fact, 75% of customers want brands they purchase from to use eco-friendly packaging! So, your packaging design speaks volumes about whether you practice what you preach.

Imagine you are a green cosmetics brand with a commitment to using eco-friendly, non-toxic ingredients. To potential customers, using plastic packaging wouldn’t just be off brand – it would be a direct contradiction of your values. So, why do it? Choosing sustainable packaging isn’t just about making decisions that are better for the planet. It’s also about investing in your brand image.

What does a sustainable packaging design mean in practice?

  • Minimizing the use of non-renewable materials

As much as we may like it to be, so-called ‘zero waste’ packaging isn’t always possible or practical. Maintaining the safety and integrity of your product is always the priority. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t also have the most eco-friendly design possible! Maximizing the use of renewable materials within your packaging reduces the amount of waste you produce. Papers, cardboard, and biodegradable materials such as sugarcane and corn starch are all great options to help cut down your footprint.

Sustainability is a spectrum, and refining your packaging shows that you are committed to finding ways to improve. This is the best character reference that you can give your customer!

  • Choosing a packaging design which works across channels

Not all that long ago, businesses could only sell goods through physical stores or catalogs. Today, retail is a multi-dimensional industry. eCommerce sites, social media platforms and online marketplaces offer brands fantastic selling channels. But this does make your packaging needs more complex. It’s easy to end up with a multitude of different packaging materials for online and offline. Yet this is both inexpensive and inefficient. To reduce the amount of packaging waste you are producing, you need to choose a design which is versatile.

  • Considering how you can give make your packaging multi-purpose

However we look at it, packaging has a pretty short life-cycle. It’s only designed to last until the customer receives their product, then it’s destined for disposal. If we want to create a truly circular economy, we need to consider how to design packaging with further uses in mind. It might seem challenging, but there are more options than you might think. From packaging products inside reusable tote bags, to designing boxes that customers want to keep, there are a lot of ways to keep your packaging in use for longer!

So, where to start?
Finding a supplier which meets your needs can be challenging, especially if you are a small business with a limited budget. It’s easier to start small by integrating packaging elements which improve your customer’s experience with your brand:

Recycled packaging inserts: There’s no point having a sustainable design if your customer doesn’t know about it! You want to make sure that they dispose of your packaging correctly, or this defeats the entire purpose. Enclosing this information within your orders is a fantastic way to spread awareness of your commitment and educate your customer. Using recycled and/or FSC-certified paper for this task is even better!

Compostable packaging: Whilst this might not work for your larger orders, compostable mailers are a great option for sending smaller products at a low-cost to your business. This also clearly marks you out as a environmentally responsible merchant in the eyes of your customers! Our noissue eco-mailers are 100% corn starch and are designed to break down within six months, making it a stress-free disposal process for your customer.

Aesthetic packaging elements: Just because your packaging is eco-friendly doesn’t mean it can’t be attractive too! Choosing branded or custom sustainable options allow you to quite literally make sustainability a part of your brand, and also presents some fantastic marketing opportunities. Custom tissue paper or stickers are a great way to draw attention to your key branding elements, such as your logo or selling channels. It also helps you to deliver the best ‘unboxing’ experience possible to your customer, which makes it far more likely they will want to shop with you again!

Beth Owens is the Content Strategist and resident unboxing expert at noissue. Their premium custom tissue paper is acid-free and FSC-certified as being socially and environmentally responsible in its production. Their low minimum order quantities and quick turnarounds mean that they are suited to help everyone, from small independent businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

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