Recyclable products are key to a sustainable business model but companies must go further to be considered truly green. Frances Cook looks at whether packaging companies hide behind a 'fully recyclable' slogan and asks, what must be done to create a more sustainable product life cycle?
All look and no substance?
"Printing a recyclable device or message is very prevalent in most first world countries now but there are subtle differences and there is sometimes a tendency to play this up with brands from S-MEs more than multinationals" said Andrew Streeter of Pack-Track, a Datamonitor packaging research service and packaging expert.
"There is a trend of sustainability and greenness which some companies are taking advantage of. I hold the view that packaging in some regions is taking on a consumer perceived 'greenish' persona. Matt inks have enjoyed a renaissance, surface texturing, plastics can look very paper like and there are more board applications.
"They are trying to fulfil a consumer need, that recyclable, green element in the brand values. Perhaps there is a hidden or more covert approach to this development, it also conveys a quality dynamic in the brand."