Packaging Innovations London 2019: 'Plastics and Sustainable Packaging, getting it right for drinks!'

Packaging Innovations London 2019: 'Plastics and Sustainable Packaging, getting it right for drinks!'

Nick Brown, Head of Sustainability at Coca-Cola EU Partners UK Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO of Hubbub UK Santiago Navarro, CEO & Co-Founder of Garçon Wines

Every big company is talking about sustainability, but what does this really mean? It’s not just about going plastic free. We should be asking ourselves questions such as: do I need this packaging at all? How can I make it more sustainable? How can I engage the customer in the recycling process? How effective is the collection messaging?

Nick Brown from Coca-Cola emphasises the symbiotic relationship between design and the move towards a more sustainable future. It’s imperative that we articulate the right on pack message about recycling; that it is simple and transparent. Sustainability isn’t just a marketing strategy - it should give concise and correct information about recycling and collection.

The production of the packaging is only one stage of the recycling cycle. After the packaging, there is the customer and after that the recycling infrastructure. Ideally, packaging should be part of a circular economy in order to be truly sustainable.

Often, consumers only think of the future of the packaging however, it’s as important to consider the past, which means using recycled materials, rather than just recyclable materials.

Trewin Restorick is the founder of Hubbub, a charity that creates environmental campaigns. He talked about the importance of collaboration between industries and spoke about a project where, with the help of 27 companies, they raised £270,000 for a sustainable activation in numerous UK cities.

Restorick also explained how creating stories to tell is a great communication strategy to engage people in environmental projects.

Santiago Navarro, CEO & Co-Founder of Garçon Wines presented a provocative product: a plastic wine bottle.

His bottles, despite being made of plastic, are more sustainable than standard glass bottles. They are made of 100% recycled PET, they are lighter and easily stacked optimising storage and transportation. Navarro stressed how everyone talks about plastic however, there is very little information about carbon footprint. His bottle is inspired by the Bordeaux bottle and has the same shape when seen from the front, to make sure that in a retail environment it is well recognisable.

Learnings from the talk:

Brands have a responsibility to effectively communicate recycling messaging on pack. Their ATL, BTL and POS material should encourage correct recycling processes. For example, which pack component can be recycled, and which part can’t. Who the message is coming from should be considered, for example, is it the brand communicating the message or an authentic other voice?