How to eco-design sustainable packaging solutions for quilts and pillows ?
Designing sustainable quilt and pillows bags is a beneficial approach for both companies and consumers. It allows companies to optimise their production, reduce the consumption of fossil resources, shorten transport. In return, consumers have access to products that are more easily recyclable and reusable.
An eco-friendly bedding packaging is defined by much more than only the material chosen. It must be designed with a global eco-responsible approach: resources used, design, impact of transportation, reusability, and recyclability. All these steps must be considered and tried to improved to face the challenge of climate change issues.
What you should know about eco-design
Whether you want to design a package for duvets, pillows, linens or even mattresses, the 3 important steps to follow are always the same. They are called the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) :
It is often easier to reduce than to reuse. The first step in reducing our ecological footprint is to reduce our consumption of resources and energy, especially in terms of raw materials.
The eco-design of a packaging in a reduction approach can be done through:
Adopting an eco-responsible vision right from the product design stage can limit consumption and reduce the need for energy and raw materials. By paying more attention to the use of these resources, we can help save them and improve their quality, making products more sustainable and less polluting.
The line of eco-friendly packaging for quilts and pillows manufactured by WOOPAK® and designed by Familon with an eco-design perspective and a “less is more” philosophy is a perfect example of a successful eco-design project. The number of components has been reduced from 7 to 3. The number of materials has been reduced from 3 different materials – made of plastics, non-woven and metal raw material – recyclable in different recycling streams to only wood fiber-based materials, recyclable in a unique stream. Discover more about this project here.
The second important element to consider when designing is the reusability of the packaging.
Pillows, quilts or mattresses bags can be reused for the same purpose multiple times and then became reusable packaging. It could be returnable by the customer once it is no longer needed. Packaging is therefore part of a zero-waste circular economy and limits the pollution impact generated by the production of a new packaging.
Our quilt and pillow solutions can also be used for other purposes. From experience we know that quilt packaging cover are often kept by households as a storage solution for winter clothes and household linen.
This is an environmentally friendly end of life for the product as it avoids the purchase of a new storage solution and avoids the energy consuming by the recycling stage.
For this second pillar of eco-design, it is key to consider quality and durability of the product from the design stage.
A quality and robust packaging will encourage consumers to keep and reuse it.
Finally, and if the previous two points could not be applied, the best option for the end of life of the packaging is of course to recycle it. The recyclability of the packaging is a crucial point to consider in the eco-design of the product.
Firstly, the component materials must be recyclable. Better still, materials with efficient recycling chains and the highest recycling rate should be preferred. For example, according to CITEO, the recyclability rate of plastic in France is 30% compared to 70% for paper and cardboard.
We should then give preference to bedding packaging solutions that are made of a single material. The easier it is for the consumer to sort, the more likely it is that the packaging will be correctly disposed of in the right bin. In addition, a single-material package will improve the overall recyclability of the product.
The virtuous circle of eco-design applied to bedding packaging
Sustainable product design limits the negative impact on the environment by improving all aspects of the chain. Production requires less material and fossil energy. Transport causes less pollution if products are designed to be lighter and less bulky. Products are reused and the increase in their durability gives a greater added value to the final product in the eyes of consumers.
To achieve this, many tools are available to designers: green design guidelines, standards, certifications, certification programmes, eco-design centres, etc. In addition, governments and international institutions are increasingly interested in supporting eco-design initiatives as well as national and regional projects such as the European Eco-design Centre (EUDC).
At WOOPAK®, we have been committed for some years to supporting our customers with our know-how in the eco-design of their product. We are working on solutions to improve the sustainability of our products in a global and responsible approach.