mercredi 25 janvier 2012

Fully recyclable packaging – good green cred or unsustainable smokescreen?

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?

Consumers' perceptions can be created by all manner of factors, but one of the greatest influencers in packaging is the design - the way the product looks and feels.

"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.

"People are beginning to using words like fully recyclable and probably stretching the point. It is not used as a smokescreen as such, but more as a marketing claim - it is opportunistic," he added.

"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."

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