Circular Design Makes Sense
Make an Impact with Earth Friendly Design And Save Money Too!
If you are concerned about protecting the environment, you’ll love circular design. “Circular design” is based on the larger concept of the circular economy, which tackles global challenges like climate change, waste, and pollution by transitioning from a linear economy (make, use, dispose/waste) to a circular one (recycle, reuse, repurpose). This allows businesses and consumers to make the most of our natural resources and tackle these challenges together.
Love the idea? We do, too! Here are five elements to circular design as they relate to marketing and packaging materials:
Are your paper, paperboard, or signage substrates ethically sourced? If you are using paper-based substrates, where does the fiber come from? How was it harvested? If the substrates are made from petroleum, are there other, more earth-friendly alternatives? For example, did you know there are paper-based options even for outdoor signage that will still meet criteria for durability and weather-resistance?
2. PRINT PRODUCTION
What type of press is being used to print your jobs? Digital presses eliminate on press chemistry and reduce environmental impact, but there are sustainable solutions for offset, as well. Is your print provider using smart impositions and batching to minimize paper waste? Can you use soft (or online) proofing to eliminate the environmental impact of printing and physically delivering a hard-copy proof?
How are the products being transported? If you are printing packaging, for example, you might want to consider using substrates that are lighter in weight to reduce the amount of fuel used to transport the products. Or “rightsize” your packaging to minimize the use of unnecessary material.
How will the materials be used? The circular design takes into consideration things like bulk packaging over single-use packaging to minimize the amount of product that needs to be recycled or that goes into a landfill.
What will happen to the products once they have been used? Choosing recyclable substrates is one thing, but encouraging and making it easy for consumers to recycle them is another. While many types of plastic signage, such as Coroplast, for example, are recyclable, many people will simply put them in the trash anyway. Consider using paper-based options or adding a recycling logo to make people more likely to recycle them. Some companies encourage their customers not to recycle their packaging and materials, but to compost them.
By taking into consideration these five principles, you can go a long way toward designing marketing and packaging projects that are friendly
to the earth—and because they involve reducing waste, they can often save you money, too.