Great Green Packaging: 10 Sustainable Innovations

Built-in carrying systems, multiple functions, compact solutions and just plain smart twists on the conventional make these 10 (more!)  packaging designs stand-outs in the area of sustainability. The designs not only cut waste, they’re more useful than ever, made of eco-friendly materials like invasive water hyacinth plants and plastic collected from the ocean.

Expanding Bowl

Hot water turns a compact, biodegradable container made from renewable cellulose-based materials into an instant bowl. Placing freeze-dried foods into these containers saves space in transportation and reduces waste of packaging materials. Developed by Swedish research company Innventia and the design agency Tomorrow Machine, the bowl won a Sustainable Packing Award from The Dieline.


H&M Bag Turns into Hanger

This is no ordinary paper shopping bag. Break it down, fold it up and it turns into a clothes hanger, extending its life. Says designer Jayvn Solomon, “These packages are not only made from less material than the usual H&M retail containers, but they’re recyclable and created to be re-purposed once. Each retail bag has the capacity to fold into a clothing hanger and each box is capable of forming a permanent shoe rack; both packages are also recyclable.”


Cardboard Tea Box Turned Air Freshener

Once this cardboard container full of tea is empty, you can turn int into an air freshener by poking out the pre-cut perforated holes and inserting scented herbs and flora into it. The outer sleeve can also be used as a napkin holder.


OMNICLIP: Selling Shoes Without the Box

While shoeboxes are highly reusable, they aren’t always necessary. The OMNICLIP by designer Uni Tak eliminates boxes, tissue paper and plastic bags using a simple hanger made of 100%  recycled PETG material.


Biodegradable Veuve Clicquot Packaging

Luxury champagne brand Veuve Clicquot protects its breakable glass bottles using a biodegradable package made of potato starch and recycled paper. Bonus: the packaging is isothermal, keeping the bottle cool for up to two hours after being removed from the fridge.


Method’s Ocean Plastic – Blend of Plastic Collected from the Sea

This plastic liquid soap bottle from Method might look ordinary, but it’s what it’s made of that’s so innovative. The company created the bottles sing a blend of recycled plastic, and plastic collected from the oceans. 


Water Hyacinth Packaging for Thai Pomelos

Water hyacinth is an invasive plant described as an ‘aquatic hitchhiker,’ growing very quickly and often clogging waterways. This cool-looking and creative packaging design for Thai pomelos comes up with a usage for the plant, and will biodegrade within 3 months.


Bagless Take-Out Packaging

This smart take-out food packaging features a tiered system of cardboard containers with built-in carrying strings, eliminating the need for plastic bags. The containers also have divider and a space for utensils and condiments.


Lite2Go: Packaging Built into the Product

In the case of Lite2Go, the packaging is actually the product. A plastic sleeve containing the components of a hanging lamp functions as the lamp shade once it’s assembled.


LED Bulb Packaging

A clever use of die cuts turns a single piece of paper into a protective cradle for an LED bulb without any glue in this package design by Cecile Godin. 



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