Collaboration & creativity to design away from waste

Illustration by @eshakespeare

MARS FOOD Bringing Mono Materials to our Microwaves.

Mars Food are making waves in an industry first monolayer, stand up, microwavable polypropylene pouch. As part of their Sustainable Packaging Plan, which looks to ensure all packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025, they embarked on a 3 year collaboration with Amcor to identify, and rigorously test solutions that enable an inherently problematic material to now play a valuable role in our recovery and recycling systems.

Typically, stand up pouches are made of multilayer plastic films, however, multilayer packaging materials cannot be recycled using traditional plastic recycling technologies (like mechanical recycling) due to the chemical incompatibility of the different layers.

Globally, we can see a huge range of businesses and independent non-for profit bodies leading the way to similar, if not exacting packaging targets for 2025.

100% recyclability is increasingly becoming a non-negotiable for brands to ensure we are applying one of the circular economy’s key principles of designing out waste and pollution.

Further details of Mars’s Sustainable Packaging Plan can be found here.

Sensitivity & innovation to maximise materials

Illustration by @eshakespeare

DOVE Refill deodorant comes to the mainstream.

Deodorants are changing, and for the better. Once a product that hid away in bathroom cupboards is ripe with innovation, from subscription D2C refillable deodorant brands (like one of our personal favourites Myro) to most recently, Dove, one of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands taking refill to the mainstream.

In 2019, Dove was one of Unilever’s brands to collaborate with Terracycle, an international recycling leader, as part of their innovative new business model Loop to bring premium, durable packaging delivered straight to the consumer, used, returned and refilled.

Two years on, Dove are launching their sleek, stainless steel refills in collaboration with VanBerlo and A Plastic Planet in retailers like Walmart. The designs are estimated to use 54% less plastic that Dove’s zero stick packaging as well as utilizing 98% recycled content for the plastic components within the refills.

Overall, refills look to challenge and shift behaviours and enable us to collectively achieve one of the circular economy’s key principles in keeping materials in use for as long as possible. They also pose the opportunity to elevate every day products, into more lifestyle focused brands. Products that have a permanent place in our homes, and aligned with our values.

Further details of Dove’s refills can be found here.

Harmonise with our planet to regenerate

Illustration by @eshakespeare

GREENWASHING Every word counts.

The term ‘greenwashing’ refers to misinformation shared by a company to present an environmentally responsible image. Unfortunately, this can too often be the case, with the story behind the words worlds apart.

With the global challenges we face, such as biodiversity loss, our climate and waste crisis; it’s never been more critical for our words and actions to align. Today, brands have a huge responsibility not just to our planet, but to responsibly navigate their customers through the complexities of ‘sustainability’.

The word in itself can be interpreted in so many ways. What does it mean to a brand? How does it translate to the product, and the packaging? How do we appropriately communicate this, while having a sound knowledge of the system in which a brand lives and breathes?

Brands can no longer hide behind ‘eco’ ranges, or baseless claims. It’s imperative for the health of any organisation, and that of the planet, to understand these global challenges, and have clearly defined sustainability strategies that speak true to actions and voice your message with confidence and clarity.

If you would like to understand how to define your sustainability strategy, and start your journey to a regenerative, inclusive future, we would love to chat.

Our Friends of the Earth thoughts are brought to you in collaboration with philo & co.

philo & co are a circular design consultancy helping creative agencies and brands transition to a circular economy. Pippa, the Founder of philo & co, is a Circulab certified circular design consultant and has more than 10 years’ experience within the creative industry working with global design agencies and leading FMCG brands.

Pippa brings a holistic view in solving the systemic challenges required to transition from linear to circular design by embedding regenerative thinking and practices into the heart of organisations. In 2020, she became a Climate Reality Leader following training by the Climate Reality Corps, led by Al Gore. When Pippa is not thinking of how to rid the world of waste, she is usually at the beach or enjoying a hearty meal (and wine) with friends.

Teamwork is dreamwork.