Creating sustainable & beautiful packaging

We are close to launch and are doing everything at once.
The one thing that has occupied our mind the whole of this month has been our product packaging.
When we design packaging, or pretty much anything at Krya, we ask ourselves 3 questions:

  1. Is it sustainable to make?
  2. Is it usable? (for You)
  3. Can it be re-used or recycled?

We’ve been working on the packaging for our first product for sometime now. (Don’t want to sound too Area-51, but all will be revealed soon).
We experimented with different kinds of paper boards: Grey board, Honeycomb board, corrugated board.
After many prototypes, we decided to go with corrugated boards. You’ve seen corrugated boards – the cartons you use when you move home, or the box in which you receive your new T.V or computer.
Corrugated boards are awesome: they are strong and beautiful too. Nearly 80% of corrugated boxes get recycled, & the rest get re-used.  Additionally , the scrap generated in the manufacturing process is sent back to paper mills to create corrugated boards, so even the manufacturing  process of corrugated boxes follows a highly sustainable cycle.
So we asked ourselves, if it’s good enough to ship in, why can’t it be good enough to package a great product in?
However, just being corrugated isn’t enough
Typically corrugated boxes get bleached, printed in many colours and sometimes laminated by the time they reach You.
Environmental hazards of bleaching paper
So why is paper bleached anyway?
Usually to give the ability to print whites and bright colours that “pop”. Bleaching of paper pulp has the potential to cause significant environmental damage, primarily through the release of organic material into waterways.
Conventional bleaching, (using elemental chlorine) releases large amounts of chlorinated compounds into the environment, including chlorinated Dioxins. Dioxins are bad news – they are recognised as persistent environmental pollutants with highly toxic health effects on us humans, and other friendly animals around us.
What we did: We went with the natural brown colour of the board as a background , and decided to do away with whites or light colours in our pack design.
Why a laminated carton isn’t a sustainable carton
Why is a carton laminated?  Most cartons are laminated with a thin film of plastic to give the paper strength, and to keep away dirt. (Of course dirt shows in the first place if they’ve been bleached for white or light colours, so there’s a double whammy for you! )
Unfortunately, this doesn’t help the pack when it comes to recycling. The plastic film used on the pack is so thin that it cannot be recycled. Also, as it is heat sealed onto the paper pack, the paper cannot be readily recycled.
Someone has to remove the plastic film from the pack before it can be sent for recycling. Which means that there is a chance that many of these packs would find their way to a landfill because they are more difficult to recycle. The plastic film, anyway does, or remains on the roadside, where a friendly cow may decide to eat it.
What we did: We kept our pack un-laminated and added a snug corrugated sleeve. This served 2 purposes. It gave the pack strength, and also gave us space to stick  Your address label on it.
Printing sustainably
Why is using a single colour more sustainable? Because paper to be  recycled, has to be stripped of inks. The more paper is printed upon, and the more colours are used the less easy is it to remove them.
The moral of the story: When you want something to be recyclable, print less, and only in 1 colour.
What we did:  We designed a single coloured pack which also helps the pack get recycled easier
2 down , 1 t o go
So far we have answered 2 out of the 3 questions we ask ourselves before making anything at Krya:

  1. Is it sustainable to make? – YES
  2. Can it be re-used or recycled? – YES

We had to answer one more question, i.e., was the pack usable? Which meant in this case, could it transport the contents of our super secret first product safely to You and not get damaged or icky along the way.
To answer this we started our transit trials a month ago. We sent our super secret product in its super sustainable packaging to lots of remote places.
We are now happy to report that the pack passes all 3 Krya principles.
And, did we mention, it looks stunning.
Yaay!

0 thoughts on “Creating sustainable & beautiful packaging

  1. I have gone through your blog,it is awesome work.
    sharif

    1. Thanks for that Sharif. We try 🙂

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