Adding metallics to packaging is a great way to help your product stand out from the crowd. However, those catering to eco-conscious consumers may be wondering how sustainable metallics really are in packaging.
Fortunately, the push for sustainable development has resulted in more eco-friendly metallic options for brand retail packaging, from sustainable metallic-compatible substrates to more eco-friendly manufacturing processes. We will dive into the different types of metallic packaging options you can use to make your metallic brand packaging both unforgettable and more sustainable.
Shiny or glittering metallic packaging products can increase the perceived value of a product. Metallics indicate premium content and are more attractive to customers. They can also provide a unique tactile sensation to enhance the consumer experience.
Metallic packaging is also a strong candidate for reuse by consumers via gifting, further perpetuating your brand.
When done right, metallic packaging can contribute to the circular economy by reducing waste and keeping materials in use for more extended periods. Developing giftable metallic packaging that can be broken down at the end of life and reprocessed into new products is also crucial for circular design.
Participating in the circular economy allows your brand to contribute to sustainable development on multiple fronts, such as lowering emissions and reducing resource use.
Paper-based materials and plastic are go-to substrates for metallic packaging products. They can be used to create glitter paper, silver foil, gold leaf imitation, and other eye-catching looks.
Once separated from the metallic coating during the recycling process, paper packaging is also typically recyclable and biodegradable, meaning that paper pulp can be reprocessed into a new product or naturally broken down, respectively.
Another sustainable substrate option for metallic packaging is recycled plastic, such as recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). Using recycled instead of virgin plastic lessens the demand for plastic production and fossil fuels.
Going one step further, Edge2Edge Packaging offers a distinct durable substrate to take your sustainable packaging to the next level. Washable paper, also known as leather paper, is a vegan, eco-friendly alternative to leather, plastic, and other packaging products.
There are multiple methods for manufacturing metallic packaging. The two main eco-friendly production processes for paper-based packaging products are foil stamping and metalized inks.
Foil stamping can be ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ depending on whether heat is used. Hot foil stamping combines heat and pressure to adhere a thin sheet of metal (usually aluminum) to a substrate. The pressure adds a unique textured look to the shiny metallic finish. With cold foil stamping, ultraviolet light is used to activate an adhesive, which the metal foil then sticks to.
A newer, third type of production method is digital foiling. This approach reduces waste, costs, and production time by printing according to a computer file.
According to a study by the Foil Stamping And Embossing Association, paper products printed using any of the three foil methods are recyclable.
Another strategy for developing premium packaging is through utilizing metalized inks. Manufacturers add metal particles to the ink and layer on multiple coats plus a finish, such as a varnish or laminate, to create a shimmering, reflective packaging product.
These types of inks come in a broader color array than the foil printing and are better for fine details.
Sustainable metalized inks use safe metals, such as aluminum, and water-based or other eco-friendly inks.
Combining an eco-friendly substrate with foil stamping or metalized inks can improve your brand’s sustainability while maintaining its high quality standards.
Edge2Edge Packaging is committed to sourcing sustainable metallic packaging offerings that meet the unique brands. Contact us to learn more about creating your next sustainable metallic retail packaging product for tomorrow’s consumer.