Switching to Window Boxes from Clamshells for Sustainability
Many consumer brand companies have mandated reduced plastic use in order to achieve their sustainability goals. Although such a broad blanket statement is not always in the best interest of our environment when taking into account all the factors going into the environmental footprint of a package from raw material production to recycling or end of life for the material, it is the directive handed down to the packaging engineers due to social appearances.
One way of moving in this direction for many products, while still maintaining the significantly increased shelf attention of visual packaging, is to switch from a thermoformed clear clamshell to a recyclable window box; a paperboard carton with a removable recyclable PET window.
Choosing a window box can often offer a more sustainable packaging solution. Window boxes can be made from materials such as recycled paper or cardboard, with a post-consumer recycled PET window, both of which can be recycled again after use, reducing the overall environmental impact, and promoting a circular economy. By choosing these eco-friendly materials, consumer brand companies can align with the demand for more sustainable packaging solutions.
Recycling vs. Landfill
Window boxes with removable PET windows are designed to be easily separated for recycling. The PET used for windows and folding cartons is the most easily recycled plastic on the market today. Choosing the right substrate and plastic for your packaging needs makes an impact. Choose a plastic that has a lower recycle number such as PET which is a “1” versus perhaps a mixed plastic which may be a “7”. Items with a “1” within the recycle arrows are highly recyclable, whereas a 7 would be much more difficult and likely, not recycled and will end up in a landfill. Having said that, there is a train of thought that if material is destined for a landfill, it is better to have something like plastic in a landfill that will take many years to very gradually breakdown, say some pressure-treated lumber that will decompose much quicker while releasing the pressure treatment chemicals into the surrounding soil as it does so, or even worse, batteries releasing chemicals and acids if they are not disposed of properly.
Versatility and Customization
Window boxes offer a high level of versatility and customization options. These packaging solutions can be designed in various shapes, sizes, and styles to suit different product requirements. The presence of a transparent window on the box allows customers to see the product inside without opening the packaging. This not only enhances the overall visual appeal but also helps in building trust and increasing sales.
Moreover, window boxes can be printed for branding, and personalized with logos, beautiful graphics, and product information. This customization capability allows businesses to create a unique and memorable packaging experience for their customers.
Enhanced Product Visibility
One of the key advantages of window boxes is the enhanced product visibility they offer. The transparent window allows customers to get a glimpse of the product before making a purchase. The window can be a simple clear front panel, or it could be a much more interesting rigid window that wraps around two, three, or even all four sides and corners of the carton. This feature is particularly beneficial for items that rely on visual appeal, such as bakery products, cosmetics, fragrances, high-end door handles, gift sets, or even food products where the window box may serve as secondary packaging that still shows the convenient primary package of the food or beverage inside.
Convenience and Ease of Use
Window boxes provide convenience and ease of use for both businesses and customers. The design of these boxes allows for easy access to the product, eliminating the need for excessive handling and potential damage. Customers can quickly and effortlessly retrieve the item they desire without any hassle or “wrap rage” sometimes associated with clamshell-style packages.
Furthermore, window boxes are often designed with user-friendly features such as easy-open tabs or resealable closures, making them convenient for storing and reusing. This added convenience enhances the overall customer experience and encourages repeat purchases.
From a brand owner’s perspective, the fold-flat properties of a ship flat window box can also mean less storage space and trucking space required as compared to a molded clamshell.
Reduced Environmental Impact
Opting for window boxes contributes to a reduced environmental impact compared to clamshells. As mentioned earlier, window boxes are commonly made from recyclable materials, which helps conserve natural resources and reduce waste. In addition, the ship flat and lightweight nature of these boxes reduces transportation emissions and energy consumption during shipping.
By choosing window boxes, you play a part in promoting sustainable practices and minimizing the carbon footprint associated with your brand’s packaging. Smart Packaging Design for Sustainability such as Printex Transparent Packaging’s Eco-Smart Window Package makes recycling easy! This not only benefits the environment but also aligns your business with the values of eco-conscious consumers. Contact our team of specialists today for a quote on your next sustainable packaging project.