What is Sustainable Packaging? Exploring Growth Factors, Design Examples, Trends, and Opportunity-Grabbing Strategies

Guide To Launch Your Custom packaging Business (1)

From receiving products in plastic wrap to the ones that now can be reused, recycled, or even planted, we have come a long way in packaging, changing the impacts on our beloved environment.  

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Why is Sustainable Packaging Important

eco freindly packaging

Nothing can change until we think so. A change can happen only if we take the step and we recently experienced that.

What we thought was a normal thing to do in our life such as stepping out without a mask, not sanitizing ourselves and our surroundings so frequently, consuming resources mindlessly because it is available, and disposing of waste in the environment, has been irreversibly changed by two life-threatening crisis that came into our life – The Pandemic and the Climate Change.  

Everything from our thinking to habits flipped drastically and we have become more conscious and concerned regarding hygiene and our environment.

That being said, due to the shift in human behaviour industries have also made changes to their way of doing business to meet customer expectations. 

For example, online businesses have surged, sanitization has improved, wastage management has increased, and plastic usage has been reduced, and so on. 

The biggest example of the shift can be seen in the packaging industry because plastic packaging is the biggest waste created all over the world and with sustainable packaging today, things are turning into good. Let’s understand it better.

What is Sustainable Packaging and What is Sustainable Packaging Design?

sustainable packaging blog

Sustainable packaging is product packaging created using sustainable materials that cause zero to minimize harm to the environment. 

Simply put, it is packaging that, over time, reduces its environmental footprint because, from the ingredients used to the practices put into the product development, manufacturing, and distribution processes, everything is made sure that it is sustainable.

While, sustainable design is the innovative way in which packaging is made to meet the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as the new concept: rethink. 

It means sustainable packaging must be designed using recycled materials, which can be again reused into something else and which reduces the harmful effects on the environment as much as possible. 

Check our blog on What Printing Companies are Expecting from Web-to-Print Solution in 2024

Reasons Behind the Increasing Demand for Sustainable Packaging

stop plastic pollution

As we said before, with the rising pressure of climate change and its effects on the planet as well as due to consumers’ demand for green packaging, the fame of sustainable packaging is shooting up. Hard to believe? Check out the facts that clearly state how much consumers are into sustainable packaging today.

  • 86% of consumers among younger generations (<45) expressed that they are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging.
  • 66% said that it is important to them that the packaging can be recycled
  • 57% of buyers are “less likely” to buy products in harmful packaging
  • 74% of consumers were interested in buying products that come in refillable packaging
  • 68% of customers have chosen a product in the last six months based on its sustainability credentials

So it is clear that the shifting consumer preferences have significantly influenced packaging trends — among which sustainable packaging is the hot favorite.


Henceforth, brands are now taking green packaging as a serious competition because of the above stats and the pace at which it is growing, The Sustainable Packaging Market which was worth around USD 265.9 billion in 2021, is now estimated to grow to about USD 358.3 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 5.10 percent over the forecast period

Thus, to keep up with the time, and to put a stop to further harming our planet, sustainability continues to be the focus of the flexible packaging industry.

Read Later: Smart Packaging: Challenges, Opportunities, Types, And Benefits In 2024

Examples of Eco Friendly Packaging Solutions


H&M sustainable packaging

The sustainable packaging design of H&M is creative because its shopping bag is designed such that it transforms into a clothes hanger. Moreover, not only are these bags made from less material than H&M’s traditional plastic bags, but the paper is 80% recycled.

Monday’s Child

monday child sustainable packaging

A British company dedicated to selling young girls’ clothing for special occasions created a sustainable packaging design that is pretty amazing. The fantastic cardboard box which is made from recycled material in which the product is delivered constitutes a toy on its own apart from a shipping solution.

This means it doubles as a doll’s house for the little princesses. Thus, with their sustainable packaging design, they bridge between generations – a joyful gift for the younger and a shot of nostalgia for the older.

Read also: Top 10 Tips For Online Custom Box Printing Business

Stripe & Stare

stripe&stare sustainable packaging

An underwear brand that is entirely sustainable because not just its packaging is environmentally friendly, but its underwear too is entirely compostable.

Their super-soft underwear is made from Lyocell- a natural fabric produced in Austria from Beechwood trees that is three times softer than cotton, as well as using 95% less water to produce.

And to meet sustainability further, Stripe & Stare also made their packaging design minimal. This means instead of creating huge boxes with fillers, they made them as thin as possible that too from 90% recycled cardboard.

You can check out 19 Types of Packaging Boxes for Online Custom Packaging Businesses That are In High Demand

7 Sustainable Packaging Strategies to Make Your Packaging Stand Out

sustainable packaging

For brands and packaging designers, making a switch to sustainable packaging is not easy because the most significant area to consider when developing environmentally-friendly packaging is the material selection. 

You need to strike the right balance between practicality and sustainability to stand out in the market. So, how to achieve that?

  1. Start with a deep market research
  2. Don’t change everything at once
  3. Test the packaging solution by ordering product samples
  4. Consider a re-design
  5. Adjust your pricing
  6. Try making your product eco-friendly too
  7. Flaunt your sustainable packaging

How Can Sustainable Packaging Printers Use Web-To-Pack Technology On Their Web To Print Stores And Impress Customers?

To impress customers, you not only need to use sustainable materials and practice sustainable methods in its production but, must also design it in such a way that it attracts them.

Generally green or something eco-friendly is portrayed to be boring, for example, salads, vegan food, green supplements, etc., but times have changed and they are interesting and worth trying alternatives today. 

The same is the case with sustainable packaging. Just because it is recycled or made using sustainable materials doesn’t mean it has to be made plain and simple. 

Designing sustainable packaging is in your hands and you can make it creative using the web-to-pack technology in a way that customers will fall for it at a first glance.

Thanks to product packaging design software, sustainable packing printers can now make their web-to-print stores eligible for designing and customizing sustainable packaging into a creative and attractive outcome as one desires. 

Impress Your Customers with the Power of Our Web-to-Pack Module to ALL-IN-ONE WEB2PRINT

web to pack by DNB

Although there are a lot of packaging design software available in the market, Design’N’Buy’s web2print packaging design software stands out the best if you are looking for one for various reasons.

Firstly, it is embedded with certain must-have features like customizable packaging templates, support for materials and colour options, multiple customization options, decoration options, and 3d preview, print-ready vector output file, and real-time quotation which makes it a worthy addition to your web-to-print store.

Secondly, customizing packaging is way easier and anyone with no design experience can also design because the customer simply has to choose a style, create or add artwork with the help of a design tool, and place the order. 

Lastly, it offers a mobile responsive design studio that allows customers to personalize and order from any device at any time. 

And as far as store management is considered, it also offers a comprehensive and easy-to-manage back-office admin panel which makes your product catalogue and orders management a lot easier. 

Looking for more? Check it out: Flexible Packaging Pouches: A Business Roadmap for Meeting Soaring Demand

3 Sustainable Packaging Trends Shaping the Future

sustainable packaging trends

1. Embellishment

To make the packaging look attractive, the trend of embellishment came into action and we can see more of it in the coming future. 

Since it is a great and smart alternative to paper labels, many brands are choosing bespoke recyclable embellishments on their products as it ensures that the recycling process is much simpler than it is for the ones removing materials that impede recycling. 

So be ready to witness more sustainable packaging with beautiful embellishments on it.

2. Personalization

Already a trend, personalization in sustainable product packaging will keep on growing and we may see more innovation in it shortly. 

Enabling customers to personalize their packaging with their name or photo evokes an emotional connection with the brand which makes them come back for more.

Ready to create your online print store? Start your free 14-day trial of DesignO.

3. On-demand sustainable packaging printing orders

custom sustainable packaging

One of the biggest wastes that happens is when products fail to get used up. With print-on-demand, there will be zero inventory and zero waste because you will be designing packaging only when the demand arises. This is made easier thanks to the eco-friendly containers and solutions offered by suppliers like CoolJarz. Handling packaging in-house and on-the-fly will empower smaller brands, minimizing waste and allowing them to appeal to the next generation of environmentally conscientious consumers.

Thus, it is one of the best ways to prevent the formation of unnecessary waste in the environment.

So, in the future, you can see many brands offering on-demand sustainable packaging print orders which will be a game-changer. 

Sustainable Packaging In 2024 And Beyond

Sustainability is a major buzzword in the packaging industry right now and it deserves it because we need more sustainable solutions in everything to keep our planet healthy and rich in resources. 

So, sustainable packaging is something every brand must take seriously and start implementing before it is too late.

So if you want to switch to eco-conscious packaging and build a better relationship with eco-minded customers, incorporate packaging box design software on your web-to-print store without giving a second thought, and be a part of a greater change. 

If you are looking to make a decision on the best packaging design software, you have come to the right place. Design’N’Buy can help meet your custom printed packaging requirements adequately. Contact us today!

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