Whether you’re revamping the packaging of an existing product or are looking for the right packaging solution for a new product you’re planning to launch, choosing how to package and present your goods can be a challenge.

There is a vast array of options available and, with the debate about plastic consumption raging in the UK, plenty of sustainability and environmental considerations to bear in mind as well.

An article for Environmental Protection recently explored the sustainable packaging options that are available for your business.

It also offered some advice on what elements you should consider when you first dive into the world of sustainable packaging, which will likely be helpful if this is the first time you’ve started looking into the options open to you.

The first place to start, however, is not with your packaging but with the item(s) being packaged. Consider how much protection your product needs, including whether it has to be suitable to be sent in the post.

While you’re doing this exercise, make a list of the essential features your product packaging needs, as well as a ‘nice to have’ list for any aspects that aren’t deal breakers.

This will also make the design process easier once you’ve selected a custom cardboard packaging manufacturer to work with as you’ll have a very clear idea of what you require to ensure your product is not only protected, but also displays well.

The key with sustainable packaging design is to “strike a balance by eliminating excess weight without compromising durability”, the news provider stated.

A top tip is to thoroughly test your packaging before you roll it out, but also to listen to your customers. If your packaging falls short of their expectations then they are likely to tell you, so listen and act on their feedback.

One of the best ways to create sustainable packaging is to encourage your customers to reuse it. If you have your packaging fully branded, this can act as a way of helping spread awareness of your brand, as well as being a boost for the sustainability credentials of your business.

Another piece of advice from the news provider is to stay open minded in your search for the right sustainable packaging. There are more options than ever available on the market, and you may find that a solution you’ve never heard of or that you’d dismissed could be the right fit for your brand and products.

As an article for Just Food recently pointed out, when you’re considering the alternatives to plastic packaging it’s important to do your research. Although plastic is undoubtedly environmentally damaging, some of the sustainable packaging available might not be quite as green as it first appears.

Analysing the lifecycle of your potential packaging solutions is one step to take, along with using recycled and recyclable materials as much as possible.

In the UK, there has been a growing push from consumers for brands to avoid single-use plastics and to generate less waste on the whole. Barilla, an Italy-based food group, explained that it trialled new packaging for its pasta in the UK where it removed the plastic window from the cardboard box because the debate over plastics is “strong” in this country.