We have already printed an article on the issue of packaging products that revealed that 9 out of 10 products suffer from over pack. In Europe, the issue is still relevant with a survey launched by the ObSoCo in collaboration with the Paris All4Pack 2016. They proposed five topics to investigate consumers’ expectations about the future of packaging. We have no equivalent program here in Canada or in Quebec, but we have a EQA organization (Eco Enterprise Québec) that supports companies in their packaging reduction challenges via the optimeco.ca initiative. Cartonnerie Montreal has therefore asked the question: what packing material do customers require or expect? What would be the priorities to be developed for a more ecological and economic future for packaging?

1st topic: eco-design of packaging

We can base this topic on the fundamental question regarding the future of the packaging. Indeed, the challenge of reducing the ecological footprint is the basis of the initial debate on excess packaging and non-environmentally friendly materials. We know that our consumer world has abused the package that we have defined as the over pack. In answer to the security question, packaging has a basic protection role, based on marketing imperatives and legalities. On behalf of the brand, large enterprises invest huge sums to make their products attractive to consumers. Do you believe that our propensity to buy a product would be less without attractive packaging? As consumers, we have a great importance in this equation. Companies for their part must find ways to reduce packaging and use recycled and recyclable materials, or new innovative packaging that is 100% biodegradable made from mushrooms and cereals. Elsewhere in Quebec, we have the renowned UQÀM with its research department in design and packaging, brilliant students (see some achievements) who promise us a bright future for packaging. It should also be noted that the majority of eco-responsible packaging is made of recyclable cardboard.

2nd topic: e-commerce and transportation challenges

A big concern since the advent of electronic commerce, it is the issue of packaging for transportation. Difficult to avoid, and adds to the challenges of reducing packaging that is suitable for transport from an eco-design point of view. Even the best package will not be enough to transport the product without adding additional protections to ensure that it arrives at the recipient safe and intact. Here, for example, companies like ours can provide the right advice.

3rd topic: mini- packages vs reducing packaging

Here’s a topic that drives the thoughts of reduction to a more fundamental level. In fact, what defines the choice between these two approaches? The fight against waste obliges us to create smaller packaging. But, do mini packages make a difference to waste reduction? Here is a graph demonstrating EEQ proposed by the strategy to optimize packaging / product ratio. In the end, mini- packaging is a packaging reduction, but the reverse is not quite true. Some strive to live with the idea of “zero waste” the article in this blog demonstrates life with the minimum packaging possible.

4th topic: ultra-smart packaging and the 5th topic: new technologies

we are not in a science fiction movie, but the era of pill bottles that remind us when it is time to take our medication is already here. In the era of connectivity, and digital controls invading our lives, be assured that packaging is no exception. With paper printed with organic semiconductor inks that replace silicon RFID chips, expiry dates are now able to be heard as well as read. Ecological ultra-smart packaging? Probably not in the deepest sense waste reduction, but if it can save lives or prevent waste, why not? Here, ethical issues arise with use, but it is still for consumers to decide.

We are curious to know what you think is the right approach to prioritize issues of packaging.

Thank you for helping us meet this challenge together, an exciting challenge to say the least.

The Cartonnerie Montreal™ team