When discussing sustainable packaging, the choice of material is often one of the first question asked. And in the age of environmental awareness, conscious consumers and engaged brands tend to incline towards material that have a green image like paper or glass. But the reality is that it’s not that simple and clearcut.
Materials chosen for packaging indeed play a crucial role in the sustainability of the solution – however many other considerations must be taken into account. So, to the question “what material should I select?” the answer is always “it depends.”
Here we try to provide a synthetic view of the benefits and limitations of the most used packaging materials, and of their recommended / not recommended uses.
Spoiler alert 1: there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ material, all materials have their benefits and their limitations, and it’s all about what material is used for what purpose.
Spoiler alert 2: there is no silver bullet either, a ‘magical material’ that would solve all needs! Each choice comes with a ‘price to pay’, and the role of brands is to make informed arbitrations towards a balanced solution, in coherence with the brand’s values and philosophy – and to communicate in a transparent and honest way about those choices.