How green is your packaging? With the increasing concern over the need for sustainable and recyclable materials, many package designers are thinking green when launching a new product. Dave Douglas of GreenBiz.com, offers two points that package designers must consider when going green.
First, packaging is often almost pure waste. As engineers, we need to stop asking ourselves how to make packaging more efficient and start asking how to get away with less of it. The good side of this is that, just as we have seen in other areas, there is the potential for some significant savings if we can figure out how to package products more effectively and efficiently.
Second, the "product" and the "packaging" have their own separate lifecycles and supply chains, and engineers who are designing for optimal environmental effectiveness need to consider both of them. Why? Regulations covering design and take-back of packaging materials are mushrooming throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and compliance with these environmental packaging laws requires creative engineering.
What do you make of Douglas' points? Are there any other means for green design that should be mentioned? We'd like to hear your thoughts.