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Paper or plastic?

The Costco Packaging Guys are a major proponent for using the most sustainable package for any brand. Why? We believe in doing the right thing for the planet and also understand consumers are getting more and more educated on packaging and making choices based on packaging materials.

Guiding our customers through the myriad of sustainable material and design options when approaching a new or redesign is a major part of our process. What is "sustainable" isn't always as easy as it appears. It's not always about the most sustainable material choices. Packaging which fails to deliver product without damage to the end customer risks not only packaging waste but, also product waste, which is far more impactful.

Case in point is Costco's egg packaging.

Although Costco doesn't report the actual amount of eggs sold annually, they did expect in 2016 to sell over 1 billion eggs and we can expect that number will be far higher in 2020.

As eggs travel from farm to depot to warehouse, there are countless opportunities for damage. When you are shipping daily over 2.7 million eggs on average, not making the right decision can be disastrous. Costco's decision to use plastic trays for their eggs has brought a fair share of customer criticism. Here are the details on their decision:

Costco's plastic trays vs paper pulp egg trays was made based on the following:

  • Over 9 million eggs (almost 1.5 million pounds) can be saved from damage and being land-filled.

  • Quantity per truck can be increased by 50% reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Weight reduced by 40% over paper pulp trays.

Once deciding on plastic, there are many more decisions on the type of plastic to use and the actual design.

Consideration was made by Costco to use PET which is not only 100% recycled but, as a #1 plastic, it's the most widely recycled.

There are many things to think about for your next packaging design. Decisions are impactful and need to be made carefully. Contact us with any questions.

Until next time.



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