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Kate Bertrand Connolly
March 6, 2023
4 Min Read
Brands looking for packaging that is sustainable and also lets consumers see the product have a new plastic-free, windowed, paper packaging option that does it all: EcoView from JBM Packaging, now in commercial use by Scientific Anglers and Atomicchild.
The new package format provides a sustainable alternative to packaging designs with plastic windows. EcoView packaging is curbside recyclable; the window is made from a biodegradable film, so consumers don’t need to remove it before recycling.
Scientific Anglers uses EcoView packaging for fly-fishing gear, and Atomicchild uses the packaging for nature-themed stickers.
In both cases, the paper package incorporates a window made using JBM’s Fiberfilm, a transparent cellulose diacetate film that’s made from sustainably sourced, PEFC-certified wood pulp and cotton-seed fibers. Fiberfilm is TÜV-certified as home-compostable, as well as biodegradable in natural, freshwater environments.
EcoView packaging is available with windows in three sizes: sneak peek, partial view, and full display.
Fly-fishing pack uses mid-size window with paper packaging.
For both Scientific Anglers and Atomicchild, protecting the natural environment is a core value. The fly-fishing brand switched from plastic bags for its leaders, tippets, and fly lines to EcoView packaging to reduce plastic litter in waterways where fishermen use the products.
Together with JBM, Scientific Anglers designed its new plastic-free pack with a partial-view Fiberfilm window on the front to offer a view of the product. The rest of the package is paper, providing space for branding, sustainability messaging, and product details.
Also with the environment in mind, Scientific Anglers chose environmentally friendly soy-based inks for the packaging. The interior of the back panel, which is visible through the window, is printed with metallic ink to provide an eye-catching background for the product.
The exterior of the back panel tells consumers about the pack’s environmental attributes, stating, “Our paper-based packaging is 100% recyclable. All materials, inks, and window are fully biodegradable to protect our streams and reduce our environmental footprint. Please don’t litter!”
Jessica Black, director of sales at JBM, says, “Clearly communicating end-of-life instructions helps improve compliance, and ultimately recycling rates, so this is something that we work with our customers to incorporate into their packaging design.
“We put a sustainability statement on each package and work with customers to craft that statement if they need one,” she adds. “We also use specific branding icons to help customers clearly identify their package’s environmental properties, whether that be recyclability, compostability, or biodegradability.”
Packaged stickers are on full display in paper packaging.
Atomicchild opted for the full-display version of EcoView packaging. The pack features a large window for a complete view of the brand’s colorful stickers. The back panel of the paper package, and the paper header and footer on the front, provide space for brand and product details.
A sustainability statement on the back of the package states, “Packaging manufactured from 30% post-consumer waste paper and is 100% recyclable. All materials, inks, and window are fully biodegradable to reduce our environmental footprint.” The pack is printed with soy-based inks.
Before switching to EcoView packaging, Atomicchild had tried a bioplastic envelope but was not happy with the material’s sustainability performance. And the bioplastic option posed challenges with filling, as had a previous non-sustainable package.
Atomicchild and JBM ultimately came up with an EcoView pack with a pressure-seal closure that eliminated the need to staple the sticker packages. That change increased Atomicchild’s filling speeds from 1,000 stickers per day to 1,000 stickers in two hours.
Customized, windowed paper packaging.
In addition to three window sizes, EcoView packaging offers several customizable features, including paper made with recycled content, different types of closure, and hang holes.
“We like to think of EcoView as a blank canvas that can be adapted to fit each customer’s unique needs. For example, if the product will be displayed on a rack, we can create a built-in hanging feature,” Black explains.
Because each package is customized and has so many variables, it’s difficult to compare the cost of the packaging to alternatives. Cost considerations include not only the biodegradable window but also the package size, print coverage, and optional perforations.
Although most applications for the EcoView packaging are items like jewelry or the products mentioned above, Fiberfilm is approved as a food wrapping. Potential food applications include small chocolates, candies, energy bars, cookies, and pastries.
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