Plastic Bag Bans Signal New Era of Product Packaging Design
Minneapolis, Tacoma, Hermosa Beach, Cambridge and Santa Barbara are just a few of the latest towns to ban those flimsy plastic bags that are still ubiquitous in most of the country. And those towns are just some of the municipalities that banned plastic bags in March 2016, plenty of other cities have already passed similar laws or have one in the works.
For the most part, these bans are opposed by local businesses and retail operations, and supported by environmentalists and progressives. The lightweight flexible packaging ends up in waterways and ecosystems all too easily, posing a hazard to wildlife on air, sea and land. But for packaging engineers and custom product packaging companies everywhere, these bans are also a sign of things to come.
What Does This Mean For Packaging for my Product?
Today, consumers are more eco-conscious than ever, and expect companies to update their product packaging accordingly. Even so, don’t expect plastic to disappear anytime soon. Plastic bags are particularly unpopular right now because they’re made from a specific kind of flexible, often dyed plastic that is difficult-to-impossible to recycle. The rigid plastics most consumers are used to are still some of the most recycled materials on the planet, and an crucial safeguard for keeping foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals safe for public consumption.
So while plastic isn’t going away anytime soon, companies are increasingly asking their custom product packaging company to consider sustainability in retail packaging design. In fact, many new companies are making sustainability and green practices a crucial part of their brand identity, and are demanding more from their product packaging design companies.
I’m Looking for Packaging for my Product, Should I Be Worried?
Not according to most packaging designers. Many professional packaging engineers actually think this is a good thing for the industry as whole.
By forcing packaging designers to think outside the box, new types of designs and materials are being used. For instance, rather than wrapping a dog toy in five layers of plastic that customrs have to use a chainsaw to open, many companies are switching to a simple open design with a recycled paper backing. Not only is this a more eco-friendly design, but it puts the package up and center for the consumer.