A material can be said to be environmentally friendly if it can be recycled or if renewable energy is used to produce it. Materials that require fewer resources and less energy consumption to manufacture are more environmentally friendly, but that does not necessarily mean that they are recyclable.

That’s why recyclable and renewable plastic, paper and biomaterials are considered environmental materials.

Plastics made from petroleum are not renewable or degradable, but they can be ‘infinitely’ recycled. Therefore it’s important to use the correct type and combination of plastic on both your packaging and the label. If not, your packaging might not be recyclable at all.

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Develop a plan for your packaging and labels to be reused and recycled

Developing eco-friendly packaging and labelling begins with an audit of your current efforts and answering some key questions related to your brand and sustainability.

To get the sustainable packaging audit started, you should therefore consider the following 6 questions:

  1. Can we reduce the amount of packaging we are using?
  2. What percentage of our packaging is recyclable? Remember – in April 2022, the government will introduce a UK tax on ALL plastic packaging that doesn’t contain at least 30% recycled materials.
  3. Is the label compatible with the packaging in terms of recyclability?
  4. Should we switch to mono-materials?
  5. Can we substitute any materials with more eco-friendly, reusable, or recyclable materials?
  6. Do our supply chain partners have sustainable road maps and programs?

Read more: How mono-materials in labelling contributes to a circular economy

Once such an audit is completed, it’s time to develop a road map for more eco-friendly packaging and labelling to set your company up for success. Be sure to set clear and measurable goals and initiatives.

This can be a daunting and complex process – involving considerable research, testing, design, and engineering. But it’s not a process you should have to do alone. Your packaging and label manufacturer should be able to take a big part of the load and guide you on the right path.

Remember, as a labelling manufacturer, it is our responsibility to ensure that your labels meet your sustainability needs and are best suited for both your business and your products.

The Skanem Sustainable Labels Program include:

  1. Customised sustainable labelling solutions tailored specifically to your products’ requirements.
  2. Practical and realistic action plan to make your packaging more sustainable today and for the future.
  3. Guidance by a dedicated sustainability expert at every step.
  4. Label design optimisation by labelling design experts.
  5. Professional help with material match.
  6. Waste management support.
  7. Logistics and warehouse facilities to reduce transport related fuel usage.

Read more about the Skanem Sustainable Labels Program here.

Packaging and labelling trends uk label manufacturer Skanem UK