What we’ve learnt on our packaging journey

Ever wondered whether seemingly recyclable packaging is actually being recycled? We’ve been working on making ours increasingly sustainable for a while now and there’s more to it than you might think. Everything we've learned throughout this process (and there’s been a lot) has provided us with a more insightful view of product packaging. So, we thought we’d share these findings with anyone else who might be on a similar path. 

Just because packaging looks sustainable, doesn’t mean it is 

High-quality products require packaging that keeps them fresh and untampered. This usually means using foil or plastic inside the packaging, which is then heat sealed to retain freshness. But if you’re using multi-layered packaging, no one’s taking the time to strip apart those layers for proper disposal, and that leads the packaging straight to landfills without any segregation. We found that the easiest material to recycle is single layered LDPE packaging*. 

A successful switch to sustainable packaging relies on the most accessible recycling infrastructure 

In simpler words, finding phenomenally recyclable or biodegradable packaging does not necessarily guarantee that they’re being recycled. You have to have facilities around that can do it. Contrary to popular opinion, even plant starch materials have incredibly few facilities to help biodegrade them. And if you biodegrade them yourself, it could take hundreds of years. This isn’t just the case in India, but around the world. It is a confusing space so it’s best to focus on using the recycling facilities that are most easily found in your country, especially if your product is intended for widespread use. 

It doesn’t hurt to also research how materials find their way to landfills in your location. We studied the role of municipal collection facilities along with the country’s most accessible recycling plants and what materials they work with. Research as much as you can for the product that you’re creating.

Make sure you know the new FSSAI rules 

FSSAI mandates the maximum level of microns that packaging needs to be comprised of but going above and beyond that will be your call. Opting for the most sustainable option is always a good idea. These rules also tend to keep changing over time so please stay in the know. From the size and the specific pantone colour you need to use to display the vegetarian and non-vegetarian squares to the wording of ingredients, make sure you’re up to date on everything. New FSSAI rules require a set space on the back of each package for company information, for example, so having artwork take over the back wasn’t an option anymore for us which is why we took the opportunity to feature it on the front of our pouches.  

Rules don’t mean that you can’t create a beautiful, recyclable product.  

It takes a LONG time to get packaging delivered from vendors 

If you’re planning timelines for package design creation, make sure you add quite a bit of buffer time. We’ve had prints made by vendors that didn’t work out for many reasons including delivery times, faulty sampling, inability to match colours, large minimum order quantities, etc. Just know that this process is not going to be easy. And if it is, please make sure to share your packaging vendor’s name with us. :)  

It’s ok to make mistakes 

There’s a long list of things to do to get packaging right, and we don’t want to discourage anyone from trying because everyone makes mistakes. Make sure you do all your research thoroughly and create a product that you can stand behind, but also be prepared to learn that you may need to change something in the future because you got something wrong or you didn’t think about something, or the technology evolved. You must create something you believe in, but getting there could be quite a learning experience. Don’t let that get in the way of creating something you love.  

We hope our learnings can add value to your packaging journey. 

Write to us at if you’ve got any questions you’d like answered, or if you’d like to share your learnings with us. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published