I came across this article online which I found extremely interesting. Focusing on Ecover who have plans for helping the environment and rather than getting rid of plastic all together in the future, instead they are looking at how to reuse the plastic so that is isn't harming the environment at all.
This infographic below fully explains the problems we are currently facing and ones we will face in the future if we don't make any changes now. I think as a designer it is important for me to understand which material is best to use for packaged goods, because if I fail to do so I will be simply feeding the problem and not allowing us to have a sustainable future.
The previous article linked me to the Ecover website, where they explain the plans they have put in place. If more companies take on board the effect plastic can have on the environment and take action then the gap could be completely closed.
Below is the video they also have on the main page, this really helps to explain the situation and the action they are taking to help the environment.
This article explains how they are using sugarcane to produce their plastic, which is sustainable, unharmful to the enviroment and only 15 hectares of land need harvesting for a year's worth of Ecover packaging.
Below is the TV advert Ecover filmed in Cape Town. I think it is really effective and love how it ends with the Ecover logo, which is self explanatory too, using the leaf disguised within the lettering. Even their choice of location was thought through to conserve energy and not cause too much damage to the environment.
'Where was the new Ecover Feel Good Cleaning ad filmed?
We filmed in Cape Town, South Africa (lucky us!) for a number of reasons.
The Cape Town area has lots of locations that look and feel like the UK. We found local actors to star in our ad and there were some fantastic production companies that matched our sustainable values nearby. We filmed in November, so perhaps the most important reason for the choice was that we were guaranteed 14 hours of natural light per day. These longer, lighter days meant we could do a lot more filming over a shorter number of days thus reducing our environmental impact (as well as reducing our costs). Had we filmed in the UK filming would have taken weeks rather than days!'
Interestingly, the clarity of the labels can have a huge impact on the consumer. If they are hard to understand to start with, then the consumer is bound to simply buy the cheapest product or the one which they prefer the smell of. The improved label created by WRAP has made it as clear as possible for people to understand when products are widely recycled.
The video below talks about the Ecover factory itself, explaining how even the building is eco-friendly and made with recycled materials. They certainly practice what they preach, which is important if a brand is trying their hardest to make a difference.
Examples of their packaging designs for laundry products
I decided to have a look at the Ecover packaging design and found it interesting that they use a lot of their sugar cane produced plastic but they also use cardboard as well. I decided to research further in to this and in fact they had used 95% recyclable cardboard, therefore not causing too much damage to the environment in the grand scheme of things.