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Better upfront design can solve many sustainable packaging challenges

Lisa McTigue Pierce

October 5, 2016

Reusable primary packaging is finally getting the attention it deserves, which pleases founder and chief reuser at Replenish, Jason Foster. What has changed? Better design is now advancing many sustainable packaging goals, including consumer acceptance and preference.

Foster—who introduced his new Replenish reusable, refillable bottle design in 2011, which has recently been picked up by Walmart for its CleanPath products—spoke at the 2015 SustPack conference during the Innovative Packaging Flash Talks session.

His presentation “Making it to the Big Leagues: Not Your Grandparents’ Spray Bottle—Building a New Platform for Concentrates and How the Future of Reuse Should Look Like” touched on several points, but innovation was at the heart of it. “Look at the front end of design and what it can do to really change a lot of these problems that we’re trying to overcome right now—which is recycling and its limiting capabilities,” Foster says. “When you think about the design at the front end, we can really transform the whole process of how we deliver products, lower costs and reduce the footprints, which is an incredible opportunity.”

In an exclusive on-site video interview, Packaging Digest guest reporter Chandler Slavin, sustainability coordinator and marketing manager at custom thermoforming company Dordan Manufacturing, also got Foster to open up about:

• The top takeaway he learned at the conference: “We had some great research from consumers themselves, talking about they want to see in packaging and the benefits they’re talking about. Reuse came up so much, which is obviously near and dear to my heart. It’s what I have been advocating for several years. I paid particularly close attention to that.”

• The reasons why he would recommend this conference to others: “It’s incredible to come here and just have access to all of these great minds. …It’s great because you can dive in and get really technical and also come back up to the macro trends. …If you’re not at a conference like this at this level, there’s a lot you might not know what people are talking about—the chatter.”

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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