UK – DS Smith, the global packaging solution supplier has launched its new Circular Design Principle to drive sustainability in packaging by providing support to companies in designing, reusing and recycling their packaging.

DS Smith developed the principles in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK charity which aims to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design & build a positive future through the framework of a circular economy.

DS Smith’s five Circular Design Principles include a commitment to; designing packaging that protect brands and products; optimised use of packaging materials to save resources and reduces waste; and packaging design to promote supply cycle efficiency.

The company will also focus in eliminating waste by keeping packaging products in use for as long as possible and empowering its packaging designers to challenge the status quo and support customers in the drive for a circular economy.

The launch of the principles comes on the heels of a recent research by the company that shows there is a desperate need for consistent design to help cut through the confusion in the recycling of packaging.

DS Smith’s new study uncovered that European adults admit to throwing 41% of their recyclable material into general waste with 74% saying that they were not clear which types of packaging can and can’t be recycled.

According to the findings from the research, a total of 51% of Europeans cited unclear information on packaging as the reason why they were unsure whether to recycle a piece of packaging or not.

“There is an undeniable desire from the public to help with the climate crisis, but a lot of packaging is still not recyclable, and people are confused about what packaging goes into which bin,” Stefano Rossi, packaging CEO at DS Smith, commented.

“We have launched our Circular Design Principles to help companies evolve to meet the needs of the public. By introducing this set of principles, we can design for recyclability, design out waste and pollution, create packaging suited to a circular economy and make it easier to provide labelling to help consumers recycle more.”

DS Smith said that this confusion has a ripple effect outside of consumer conscience and the immediate environmental impact: recyclable products going to landfill or being incinerated could cost the economy up to €1,864m each year.

The company is hopeful that its Circular Design Principles can help to end the confusion driving this behaviour and support its customers and other members of the packaging industry in their transition to a circular economy.

DS Smith noted that the Principles have been developed to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, regenerate natural system and promote a circular economy model that benefits the environment and can drive growth for the packaging industry.