Designing for the Planet: Sustainable Packaging


Conversations around sustainability, environmental impact, and eco-friendliness have become more central to brands and their products. Not only is it ethical for companies to consider their environmental impact, it is also necessary to retain consumers’ trust.  

We partner with brands to execute their sustainable efforts on and off pack, from presenting eco-friendly design solutions to communicating efforts through various digital platforms. 

Through our client partnerships, we’ve seen the tactical ways brands bring their sustainability efforts to life through products and packaging.

Dial is providing shoppers a more sustainable option through its launch of its new innovation, Concentrated Refills. These refills use 95% less plastic than a traditional bottle and the carton packaging is made with 100% paper-based materials. The packets are also recyclable through Dial’s partnership with TerraCycle, which helps recycle items that cannot be recycled through the traditional curbside recycling. We partnered with the Dial team to bring this new package design to life, opting for a design that easily communicates key messages and points of difference, but still fits cohesively within the Dial portfolio.

In addition to TerraCycle, Dial has also partnered with sustainability leaders Plastic Bank and Solidaridad, all of whom share the goal of creating a more sustainable future.

Plastic Bank builds recycling ecosystems in coastal communities and reprocesses the materials to be recycled back into the global manufacturing supply chain. This plastic waste collected becomes “Social Plastic” and is reworked into new products and packaging. Dial is eager to move forwards with their plan to have most of their Liquid Hand Soap Refills and Dial Foaming Hand Soap Refills made or manufactured from Social Plastic from Plastic Bank by the end of 2022. Through this collaboration, Dial will help save over 30 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean in 2022.

Dial has also partnered with Solidaridad, which empowers farmers and workers to earn living wages, produce and farm sustainably, and helps ensure the traceability of Dial’s ingredients.  

Click here to read more about Dial’s new sustainability initiatives and product innovations.

In addition to our partnership with Dial, we have had the pleasure of helping other clients design sustainable brand and packaging solutions.

Because it’s Better aims to provide a healthier, more sustainable protein alternative for dog food through their innovative plant-based products. All Free and Clear pure provides a powerful clean through a 99% bio-based detergent, which is gentle on skin and better for the environment. ZeroWater’s EcoFilter helps consumers use fewer plastic bottles by providing unmatched filtration technology straight from the tap. Plus, unlike competitors, its long-lasting filter utilizes no plastic filter shells, also cutting down on waste.

Education is also a central component in sustainability. We’ve partnered with clients to create concise and intelligible communications both on and off pack (via QR codes and digital content) that guide consumers on how to properly recycle packaging.  

With increased environmental focus and research bringing more solutions to the forefront of design, we’re excited to continue to help brands innovate for a healthier future. Recyclable packaging, waste-reducing solutions, safer chemicals in cleaning products – every step towards sustainability is progress. 

Interested in learning more about our experience working with brands on their sustainable packaging solutions? Contact us below and click here to read about our membership in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.  

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    At Smith Design, our culture is rooted in caring. We make a conscious and collective effort to translate our values into actions that benefit our staff, our clients, our community and our environment.


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