Navigating Sustainability for Embellished Packaging

image of multicolor foil for packaging

Have you ever wondered what you or your customers can do with your decorated, embellished packaging and printed materials post-use?

Once you really start digging into the topic, it becomes apparent that the word ‘sustainable’ has many meanings. It seems as if the rules for sustainable packaging are constantly changing and it is so very difficult to keep track of what materials are sustainable. Complicating things even further, how packaging materials are processed depends upon where you live, and if that’s not confusing enough, sustainability is also influenced by the market for the material at the time the product goes to the processing facility. Calculating carbon footprints and LCAs can be a complex process.

There is even less information when determining what decorative print process to use for packaging. What can you do to at least have a starting point to navigate through the murky sea of sustainability?

Here is a quick reference chart to get you started. Some of the initial categories may seem redundant. That is simply because new studies are coming out with updated sustainability results. Companies are constantly figuring out new techniques and developing new technologies to make many materials more sustainable for post-consumer use.


Remember, this list is constantly changing, I fully expect to hear many opinions about this list and would love to hear your feedback so I can update based on this dynamic industry and your advances in this area!


Read last month’s post from Camille:

See all posts from Camille here.

Camille Corr Chism_Print Media Centr_AuthorCamille Corr Chism, CPPL Fellow, has a diverse background in packaging engineering, design, supply chain, project management, and new product introductions. Her experience includes a variety of industries including food, e-commerce, technology, distribution, pharmaceutical, industrial, and automotive. Earning an MS and BS in Packaging, Camille earned a Six Sigma Black Belt (2019), and a lifetime certification as a Certified Packaging Professional in 2006. She was inducted into the IoPP College of Fellows in 2014.

Camille is the owner of Indigo Packaging and Consulting. She is the go-to person for all your packaging products and packaging design needs. Connect with her on LinkedInLinkedIn Company Page, Twitter @indigopkg, and Instagram @indigopkg