In 2018 the EU Action Plan for the Circular
Economy Package was established, to make the transition to a more
sustainable economy by closing material and product cycles for packaging. It includes provisions for enhancing circular
approaches to raw materials at a European level and aims to substantially
increase recycling rates of all packaging materials.
Circular Packaging Design
The University of Applied Sciences Vienna (FH Campus Wein),
together with Packforce Austria, (the Austrian member of World Packaging
Organisation WPO) and Circular
Analytics, have developed and issued the Circular
Packaging Design Guideline, which is essentially design recommendations for
sustainable, recyclable packaging. It
covers the entire supply chain of the packaging industry and focuses on sustainable
packaging design, as well as the recyclable design of packaging systems for all
contributors along the chain. It’s a
document that will evolve and update in accordance with future sorting and
recycling technologies and packaging material developments.
Future challenges for product & packaging design
Because of the circular economy and this holistic approach
to the packaging process, new challenges are presented for product design and
packaging conception. Considerations not
only for the main materials used but also the use of printing inks, adhesives,
labels, films and additional small parts such as openers or closures are all
covered in the Circular Packaging Design Guideline. Packaging will need to meet multifarious requirements
including the balance of maximum functionality and protection of goods with
minimal ecological impacts.
Below are extracts from the guidelines as to how these
fundamentals are to be achieved:
Effective - Packaging needs to be fit for purpose and add as much
value as possible with regards to both the consumer and the product (e.g.
retain shelf life). In order to asses
effectiveness, detailed knowledge about the properties of the packaged goods is
required. The packaging must provide
adequate protection against adverse environmental influences such as mechanical
stress, oxygen, humidity or light. In
addition, the packaging must ensure easy handling by the final consumer to the
greatest possible extent. Finally, it
can be empirically established that the packaging has an influence on product
Efficient - The use of raw materials, emissions, energy, and the
generation of waste need to be minimised throughout the entire life cycle. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the standard
instrument for assessing the efficiency and thus the ecological sustainability
of packaging. It takes into account the
environmental impact of the packaging over its entire life cycle. The life cycles start with raw material
extraction and end with the full disposal of the packaging. The amount of CO2 equivalents that are
emitted throughout the entire life cycle is a well-known parameter for
assessing the ecological impact of the packaging.
Safe - Safe packaging is designed to minimize health and safety risks to human
beings and ecosystems throughout its life cycle. Regarding admissibility for food contact, the
applicable legal requirements need to be met, and additional aspects such as
consumer safety, environmental protection and tamper evidence need to be
Cyclic - Cyclic packaging is designed to maximise the
recovery of materials used. This is
aimed at longevity of the life cycle, full substitution for virgin materials of
the same type (closed-loop recycling) or use of renewable materials. Circular packaging design refers to the
principle of cyclic approaches. Products
should be designed and produced in a way which, after the period of use, permits
the recovery, to a high degree, of the raw materials to be employed as
secondary raw materials, the reuse of the packaging, or the manufacture of the
packaging from renewable raw materials.
International Development of Packaging
Packforce will target the European market first, with
special issues of the guidelines developed for Northern Europe, Central Eastern
Europe and Western Europe. The
recyclability of a packaging system will depend greatly on the technical
capabilities of a given country, therefore Packforce are looking for
cooperation partners in the respective countries, that will be able to
contribute to a first step information regarding the collections systems and
recycling infrastructures available.
For International consumer goods companies and retailers,
additional information will be required on the recycling infrastructure on a Global
The benefits of stockholding & our VMI services
When looking for a new packaging supplier, there’s more to
consider than just the unit cost of the packaging product itself. At Packaging Supplies, we offer many other
services that can benefit your business, saving you both time and cash flow.
We have a dedicated warehouse operation on Oxfordshire,
where we offer localised stock holding for clients based in the South of
England, London and right up to (and including) the Manchester area.
The BenefitsWe only invoice you for stock
once it’s delivered, giving a huge improvement to your cash flow
Next day delivery on custom made
packaging (once in stock), not just standard shop items
Save space in your warehouse
Better unit costs due to ordering
bulk production runs
Hand in hand with our stock holding, is our Vendor Managed
Inventory Services. We monitor your
stock movement and levels, and with your consent, we will keep stock above a
threshold that both parties agree on.
The BenefitsLess planning and stock
monitoring from you
No lengthy lead times
Your stock will always be
available for call off
If you like to keep track of your stock, regardless of
whether it’s in your warehouse or ours, you can do that through our remote
ordering and stock checking portal. You
can view current stock levels, place call off orders and also see what’s in the
production process to come back into stock.
The BenefitsCheck stock levels
Monitor which stock has been
called off for delivery
Check the status of stock waiting
to be replenished
Call off stock for next day
These services benefit many of our clients, so get in touch
with us for a packaging quotation and further information.
– How important is this to today’s consumers?
Looking at a recent report by Coleman Parkes Research, which
was undertaken on behalf of the packaging industry body Pro Carton, it’s
evident that there is still a growing demand for sustainable packaging. The survey asked more than 7000 shoppers,
from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Turkey, what their views
were on topics from on-pack recycling information to tax breaks for packaging
manufactures directly related to the recycled content in their products.
The survey highlights how much consumers will consider the
product packaging before buying and how this could influence their actual
purchasing decisions. As a nation, we
are calling out for more transparency in relation to the sustainability of
product packaging and we are switching brands if the product packaging does not
appear sufficiently environmentally friendly or recyclable.
What UK consumers want from their packaging
88% of UK’s consumers want
on-pack information relating to packaging sustainability
9 out of 10 shoppers in the UK
want all packaging to be classed as recyclable
8 out of 10 Britons think there
should be a tax on packaging manufacturers who use less than 30% recycled
content in their products.
68% of UK consumers say the
environmental impact of a product’s packaging will affect their purchasing
choice. This rises to 77% amongst German
consumers and 81% for Spanish consumers
92% of Europeans would choose the
plastic free option for a product when offered a choice between cardboard based
or plastic-based packaging for the same item.
With these stats in mind, updating your product packaging
has never been more important and without doubt this will have an impact on
product purchases now and in the future.
We have seen many bold moves from larger corporations paving the way for
more plastic free packaging. There are many cardboard packaging options already
available, making it easy for all businesses, regardless of size to become
In 2018 Sainsbury’s developed a sustainable and airtight
cardboard container for some of their food packaging. This claimed to reduce
plastic content by 85% compared with other widely used alternatives. It was created for meat and poultry distribution,
the carton facilitates the removal of oxygen from inside the pack, thereby
extending the product shelf life and maintaining food freshness. It does still contain a laminated film which
is applied to the cardboard, but significantly reduces the amount of plastic
material used. It can also go straight into the recycling after use.
How can you update
There are many ways in which you can update your packaging,
the most obvious and visible to the consumer is removing any plastic and opting
for cardboard instead. With so many
cardboard materials and strengths available today, cardboard packaging is more
versatile than ever. Cardboard can be
used to house almost any product and is used as a container for distribution as
well as for primary retail packaging.
Complex and innovative designs can produce strong, long lasting
packaging solutions that can hold their own in many different markets.
Cardboard packaging can be minimal and raw in its appearance
or, with the advancements of water-based inks and vegetable-based ink pigments,
can be printed upon to produce a different look and feel, whilst keeping all of
the recycling credentials intact.
Many general packaging consumables can also be swapped for a
more environmentally sound product. Paper nuts in place of polystyrene packing
peanuts, Kraft food trays in place of plastic takeaway packaging containers,
Bio-plastics, cardboard food trays etc. . . the list is extensive.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your new recyclable
packaging solution and receive a no obligation re-design and quotation.
The Incredible Café made of Cardboard
There’s an extraordinary café in Mumbai, India, which has
been created by the visionary Indian design studio, NUDES. The interior of the café has been cleverly
crafted, using corrugated cardboard, really taking eco-materials to the next
The chairs, light fixtures and tables have been layered
using a strong triple wall corrugated cardboard, which has then been waxed to
protect from heat, humidity and spillages, in order to make it suitable for
In the centre of the café is a mind blowing, undulating wave
wall, made entirely from corrugated cardboard!
Some of the pieces, such as the chairs and a table that juts
out from the wall, have been crafted in such a way they almost look like
hardwood. The layered card walls follow
through the theme but also provide acoustic sound proofing.
This project was completed in approximately 7 months,
including a 4-month period of prototyping and 3 months of construction. It is an excellent example of how versatile this
environmentally friendly material is, and as you can see the sky is the limit
if combined with a huge imagination and practical design know-how.
- February 19, 2019
Starting a new ecommerce business or launching a new product
is an exciting time, and it won’t be long before your attention will need to turn
to finding the perfect packaging to partner your product and promote your
With so much to consider, we have tried to break it down
into easy to handle chunks to get you started on your journey.
What type(s) of
packaging do you need?
First, let’s look at the main functions of the different
types of packaging you may need. Often
the lines can blur between these types of packaging. The correct solution
depends on your product, where you intend to sell it and how you plan to
deliver it to your customer. You may need just one option or a combination of
them. Consumer/Retail packaging:
This is the primary packaging, the part that
will come in direct contact with your product.
This could be the bottle or can containing a drink or chocolate bar
wrapper protecting the food from contamination.
It could even be the plush box your mobile phone comes in or a fancy
gift box that an expensive piece of clothing or jewellery is presented in.
The main purpose of the primary packaging is to protect, contain and
preserve its contents. It can also
be used to relay important product/nutritional information or to just look
amazing and really showcase the item it contains – it can tell part of a story
and reach out to the consumer.
In some cases where the product will be displayed within
this packaging alone, it will be the primary packaging for the product branding
and the first real direct interaction your customer has with your brand.
The purpose of this can be to
protect the product but also protect the primary packaging in transit.
It all depends on the type of inner product packaging
required and where you are selling your product. The secondary packaging can quite often be
the main vessel for displaying your brand. It can in some cases also double up
and be used for logistical and identification purposes.
The secondary packaging could take the form of an SRP/RRP
(Shelf ready or retail ready packaging).
You could ship 100 of those chocolate bars to a supermarket and the same
packaging can be used to display the bars on the shelf in the store. The secondary packaging could also take the
form of the outer box that your bottles or cans are delivered in. Or where the product already has primary
packaging to contain it, like a candle in a glass jar for example, it can even
be the luxury display or gift box that it’s presented in.
This will be the packaging that is
required to safely ship your products to the consumer or the retailer. This element of packaging is more important
now than ever especially with the increase in e-commerce retailers. It’s now quite often the first physical
touching point you give your customers and therefore needs to deliver not only
on functionality but also in appearance.
The outer packaging will often be a corrugated box, it could
be a die-cut postal box with an integral lid.
It will need to be strong enough to safely ship the product and protect
the inner packaging or product directly.
What is your product?
Yes, we’ll need to know this, to make sure the right
materials are used, we may ask what your product is made from, how big it is,
what shape it is, how much it weighs and if its fragile. You/we will also need to consider the cost of
There are many off-the-shelf options available but,
depending on the answers to the above, a custom solution might be necessary for
you. Fittings can be produced to keep
your product in place and protect from damage during transport. You may also need a more generic void filling
solution between your outer and inner packaging, like biodegradable packing
chips, air pillows or bubble wrap.
How & where is
your product being sold?
This leads us to how you intend to sell your product – this
could be online, in store, on the supermarket shelf or in a small boutique shop
. . . this will help determine the different levels of packaging you need
combined with the best materials. From
corrugated to carton board or rigid covered boxes, we can offer you a
comprehensive range of suitable options.
Moving on to the aesthetics now . . .
Who is your product aimed
The look and feel of your chosen packaging and the materials
used to make it will alter depending on your target audience. Age and gender will need to be carefully considered
when designing your graphics and colour choices.
If it’s a product aimed at the environmentally conscious,
you will want your packaging to reflect this so that it really reaches out to
the right people. You may consider a box
design that is re-usable or has a multi-purpose use, it could be made from
recycled materials or simply fully recyclable. Natural FSC Kraft materials can
be used to showcase to your clients how environmentally conscience your product
Heavier materials and different print finishes are available
for accentuating a luxury or premium product and you may want to accessorize
with ribbons, ties or magnetic closures.
If it’s just for shipping, the box may be plain or printed
with essential product information and branded for instant recognition.
There’s nothing better than a visual
representation or image of what you’re looking for, to help your packaging
manufacture understand your vision. It
pays to do some research and let us know what you like and don’t like.
Your budget is an integral element to your packaging
choices. All too often we come across a
client looking for a low number of luxury boxes to contain a relatively low
value product at the same cost of an off the shelf shipping carton that’s been
produced in large volumes. You must be realistic about budget, not forgetting
how important a factor the packaging will be to the success of your product
launch and in reinforcing your brand identity.
Considering the cost of the product and the retail price is
a good place to start when putting a packaging budget together. Think about where the packaging will be
stored also. We offer a stock-holding
and call of service for volume orders. This is a great way to keep your storage
costs to a minimum while taking advantage of a lower unit price for producing
Packaging set up
costs & unit costs:
There are different types of set up and origination costs
involved too. These fall under one off
set up costs and are in addition to your individual box unit price. Your first order of a custom-made pack will
often include one off charges for a die cutting tool and a printing stereo or
plate. However, with digital print and
finishing becoming a viable option for more and more substrates, we can often
eliminate some of these set up costs on smaller production runs, which can
really help with start-up brands that need to get to market quickly and have a
Get in touch with our team for a quotation or further
- February 11, 2019
As a nation, we are more concerned than ever about our
environmental choices, with packaging being one of the largest areas of concern
for nearly 3 million Britons. This has
resulted in many retailers re-thinking their packaging policies and work
towards reducing their packaging waste and make up.
Many big chain supermarkets have already committed to reduce
materials such as plastic and polystyrene, along with other unnecessary
packaging. Most are working towards using only packaging that can be 100%
recycled by 2025.
With all the bad press around packaging, it’s easy to forget
that not all packaging is the same and not all packaging deserves such a bad
reputation. Cardboard packaging is one
of the most sustainable forms of packaging available. The paper to produce corrugated cardboard
comes from renewable sources and responsibly managed forests. In many cases it
is made from a high percentage of recycled material as well. The paper sourced
to produce cardboard in the UK is never sourced from tropical rainforests or
other non-renewable supplies.
Corrugated cardboard is also recyclable. A typical box is manufactured from 80%
recycled materials and 20% wood pulp from sustainable forest sources. In fact, corrugated cardboard is the most
widely recycled type of packaging!
All cardboard is biodegradable, so although without
question, recycling is the best option, for any that does end up in landfill,
it is totally biodegradable. This
includes all corrugated, carton board, rigid paper over board boxes and
Environmentally friendly printing
There have been great advances in using more environmentally
friendly, vegetable pigment based, printing inks for branding the packaging.
Until recently packaging printing was dominated by
solvent-based inks, but now many are produced without such toxins. Water is being used to replace the solvent carrier element within the inks.
Get in touch with Packaging Supplies for a quotation on your
environmentally friendly packaging.
- February 21, 2018
Did you know that as part of our service to you, we can provide a free of charge report on the packaging you have purchased from us in the last year? Our report contains all the details and information you will need to be able to complete your packaging waste report.
There is now a legal obligation on all UK businesses, that produce or use packaging, to ensure that a percentage of their packaging is recycled. More than 10 million tonnes of packaging waste is generated each year in the UK, 6 million tonnes of which can be potentially recycled.
‘Producer Responsibility Law’ is in place to make sure that businesses who manufacture, import or sell products are responsible for them once they become waste. This law encourages minimisation and recycling of all waste.
If your company has an annual turnover of more than £2 million and handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, you must meet the producer obligations under the packaging regulations. Your business also has an obligation to recycle if you own the packaging and supply it to others, or if you import packaging.
If you are a manufacturer or seller who uses packaging in large volumes, you must get to know the legal position on recycling, you could be prosecuted and fined for non-compliance.
- November 08, 2017
Why our BRC
Accreditation is a crucial element of our service
BRC, which stands for British Retail Consortium, is the number
one global market leading GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) scheme. Our BRC
Accreditation allows us to store food & non-food grade packaging and
stationery items destined for restaurants, food retailers, hotels or any other
business that handles food, or where products come in to contact with food.
This accreditation means that we follow strict working
guidelines to ensure the supply chain meets industry standards and that our
products are manufactured to industry quality standards and are stored in a
clean controlled environment.
Why BRC is important
to us ……………..
- BRC is a mark of good working practice
- All products manufactured by Packaging Supplies are
subjected to vigorous quality checks
- Every item that is manufactured, stored and
distributed by Packaging Supplies has full traceability
Why BRC is important
to our customers……………
- Customer are assured that their goods are
manufactured to European Environmental Standards
- Products are stored in secure and hygienic
- Products are handled and distributed with full
Our customers are safe in the knowledge that they are
dealing with a business that reaches high levels of competence, in all critical
View our certificate here
- September 14, 2016
big packaging mistakes that will see failure in the Peak season
It sounds incredibly sad however the peak
season, the lead up to Christmas will be soon upon us. Within this period
planning and forecasting is everything. Which is why you need to start now.
Failure to Plan: We think this is a very
good place to start, plan exactly what is required for the packaging of each
product. Before the busy season starts you should know exactly the average time
that it takes to pack each product, once you know this you can experiment with
packaging machines or other packing equipment to decide whether this will
assist in speeding up this process. This will then give you valued information
for the forecasting for the dispatching of orders and lead times of future orders.
See our Packaging Machines here.
Understanding your demand: This goes
hand in hand with planning, this is somewhere where even the largest of large
companies can come unstuck. Review you figures from the same quarter the
previous year with any expectations of growth or reductions this will help to
give you an understanding of what will be required.
3. Innovate where possible: The
Packaging Industry is so large, whether you are a
manufacturer, importer or have an online presence there will be a requirement
for packaging in some form. However,
there are very few packaging companies out there that are actually innovating.
The biggest reason for this is that it is cheaper to have a one size fit all
packaging. Take Korrvu packaging for example, we have standard sizes to fit
phones, iPad’s and many other products. We work hard to develop our online
range, so you know exactly what is out there, a snapshot into new products.
4. Be smart and respectful about
Packaging: The biggest mistake that is being made
at the moment is that packaging is only being considered within companies for
just their own benefit i.e. the one size fits all situations. The largest
retailer in the world has been guilty of this, Amazon are under more pressure
to reduce their packaging size and waste. How can you be respectful to
packaging? The respect comes when considering if the packaging is the right
size for the product and how easy it is for your customer to discard the
packaging. We have all been there trying to stuff empty pizza boxes into bins,
it isn’t enjoyable.
5. Be prepared for all
Outcomes: This is where Packaging Supplies comes
into its own. You need to see our warehouse as an extension of your own. Stock
and call off is so essential at this point once we have it in stock, we can dispatch
it to you on a next day delivery basis (on orders received before 3pm). It gets
even easier with your own customer log in, giving you instant stock checks and an
online ordering platform through the back office of our website.
5 mistakes are just the beginning, with over 35 years in business in this
industry we can help to save you time and money. So please feel free to catch up with one of
our friendly team today on 01491834000.
We have made huge price reductions across our entire range of Featherpost Mailers. These bubble lined envelopes are strong, lightweight, water resistant mailers, suitable for posting all kinds of items. They can be used for jewellery, electrical components, CD's or other small to medium sized products. An essential for any postal packaging, look no further for very competitive pricing
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