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Sustainable Packaging Trends 2019

Rarely a day goes by that the news and social media feeds don’t feature a warning about the impact that plastic waste is having on the environment. With landfill sites fit to burst, cries to ‘save the turtles’, and images of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in our timelines, unnecessary waste and the use of plastic packaging is becoming a primary focus for consumers.   

From source materials and the manufacturing process to the finished product itself, people are growing more and more aware of products that are kinder to the environment (and those that aren’t). More and more customers are looking for environmentally friendly sustainable packaging options than ever before.

Tick a few boxes from a corporate social responsibility perspective and boost your business’s reputation. Retailers are now in a position to reflect on their current branding by evaluating the volume and types of packaging they use.  There’s never been a better time to seize the opportunity to respond to a global call to action, whilst meeting the wants of your customers and the needs of our planet.


What is eco-friendly packaging?

Eco-friendly packaging is any type of packaging that has a positive effect on the environment, from reducing carbon footprints to lowering the overall amount of physical waste. When thinking about what type of packaging is environmentally friendly, the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is a helpful reference. Eco-friendly packaging is all about reducing the overall amount of packaging used, creating packaging that can be used more than once, and ensuring the materials used to make the packaging are recyclable or bio-degradable.


Why is sustainable packaging important?

Our planet is experiencing a plastic waste crisis. Single use plastics are discarded in excessive quantities everyday by households across the world, with plastic packaging accounting for around 40% of all plastic pollution. Sustainable packaging helps to combat the unnecessary build-up of non-biodegradable waste, and plays an important part in improving the appearance and sanitation of local environments as well as making natural habitats safer for different varieties of wildlife.


Our Favourite Sustainable Packaging Trends 2019

If you’re looking for sustainable packing solutions for your products, we’ve put together some of the best sustainable packaging trends for 2019 to help you figure out which option or options would be best for your business.



Streamlining packaging is a key trend in the sustainability stakes. Removing excess plastic, boxes, and packing materials will help you to save money in the first instance, and reduce waste in the second.

And simplified doesn’t have to mean boring. Embrace minimalist design and get creative with single materials. Explore options for sealing your packages in different ways or look at ways you can increase user enjoyment – truly putting the fun into functional.



Recycling isn’t a new concept. But, making recycling easier for consumers is a challenge that many modern manufacturers and retailers have recently accepted. With countries like China putting a stop to accepting plastic waste from western countries, it’s increasingly important to be actively conscious of the materials used for packaging.  By choosing recyclable materials and avoiding the use of mixed materials, recycling should become an easier activity for consumers and will help to close the gap in the manufacturing cycle.

And whilst recycling has its environmental advantages, having packaging that can be reused again, like a trendy tote bag, or transformed into something else is even better. The packaging trend for reusable packaging helps to reduce carbon emissions from the manufacturing process, whilst also eliminating waste end products. Not bad, hey?


Go plant-based

If a plant-based diet is good enough for you, then why not your packaging? Seaweed, bamboo, mushrooms, coconuts, corn starch, and all kinds of weird and wonderful plant extracts have been used to successfully make completely biodegradable bottles, boxes, and packets. So, if you need to throw them away they won’t still be hanging around the landfill site for hundreds or thousands of years to come. Swapping synthetic chemical-based packaging for plant-based alternatives is a packaging trend we’d love to see more of in 2019 and beyond.


Use other alternatives

And it’s not just the packaging that stands to benefit from a sustainable approach. Things like the packing and petroleum-based inks used to make your products look pretty can also be harmful to the environment. If you really want to make a difference in every way possible, look at papers made from bamboo or sugar cane, or even soy-based inks, to show just how committed your business is to making things better for the future.


Choose managed sources

Before you settle on a material for your packaging, check your sources. Make sure that your materials are a managed resource from FSC approved forest sites. This ensures the supply chain you’re using is managed responsibly and fulfils its eco-friendly requirements. This is a timeless trend that future generations will appreciate too.


With your business’s impact on the environment under the microscope, now is the time to respond. And, making the switch to sustainability for your brand packaging is now easier than ever. There are endless possibilities to transform your packaging, with loads of attractive and affordable options to choose from. Even just a small change can add up to a big difference.

At stop. we love to help you go green, whilst creating imaginative and stunning packaging concepts to give you the edge over your competitors. You can find some of our most recent examples of working with sustainable packaging designs here. If becoming an eco-friendly brand is something you want to work towards, get in touch and we’ll share our ideas for transforming your packaging into something exciting and environmentally friendly.