From wood pulp to mushrooms, consumer brands are using unexpected materials to create sustainable packages.
Large companies and major brands all over the world are making big strides toward sustainability by utilizing some surprising environmentally friendly packaging materials. A recent article on cnbc.com outlined initiatives at companies like Diageo (which distributes Johnny Walker whiskey) and Unilever that are aimed at moving the industry toward a major reduction in carbon footprint.
According to the article, Diageo reduced their directly produced greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent between 2007 and 2020, and they are looking at an innovative way to cut that even further. They are set to launch a paper-based bottle for Johnny Walker whiskey next year, using sustainably sourced wood pulp for production. The maker of the bottle, a company called Pulpex, says its products will have a carbon footprint that is 90 percent less than glass, and the bottles are different from other types of pulp packaging because they don’t have a plastic-based lining, which is harder to extract and recycle. Instead, the inside of the bottles will be sprayed with a special coating to keep them from becoming soggy. In addition, Diageo is also working with suppliers on innovations for its glass bottles, such as increasing their recycled content and decreasing their weight.
Another interesting development included in the article is from Seedlip, a non-alcoholic beverage company that is also part of Diageo. Next month, it will launch a gift box with packaging made from mycelium, a thread-like structure that is produced by mushrooms, which they say will biodegrade over a few weeks. According to Ben Branson, the company’s founder, mycelium is quick to grow and will add nutrients back into the soil when thrown out.
In the coming months, Diageo says it will announce its climate targets for the next 10 years, to align with the U.N.‘s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Innovation fuels sustainability. Each and every day, scientists and engineers are perfecting climate-friendly materials that will be used in the product life-cycle chain—and at AMGRAPH, we are committed to staying on top of all of these developments. What innovations might lie ahead for YOUR product’s packaging? Give us a call! Let’s talk possibilities.