Project: Millo – Luxury and Sustainability combined
Client: Millo appliances
Design solution: Džiugas Valančauskas
Scientific consultant: Rasa Tumaševičiutė
Glued plastic elimination: Heavy consumer electronics usually come covered in rigid packaging which is laminated in plastic. They are ending up in incineration or landfill as the plastic glued to the paper makes the entire package difficult to recycle. This thin, sometimes even unnoticeable, layer is used to protect heavy packaging corners from becoming torn- something considered unacceptable by luxury packaging standards. After testing a number of sustainably made materials that had robust tearing and bending resistance properties, we settled on paper based ‘Wibalin Buckram’. REACH EU standard compliant, it is free from substances harmful to the environment or the end-consumer and fully recyclable and utilises raw materials from responsibly managed forests.
Print: And when it came to printing, we decided to use as little ink as possible. After all, why overdo the text when the packaging was looking to reflect the blender’s minimalist beauty.
Inner base: Wibalin Buckram is the outer decorative packaging material that binds the overall structure. For the inside we turned to ESKA, a rigid board material made by a Dutch company that’s 100% made from recycled paper. Rigid, sustainable and protective, it couldn’t be better.
Additional protection: We were able to abandon laminated plastic in favour of paper-based alternatives for much of the packaging, but we were still dependent on its small use in some parts. The cube of the outer packaging was covered with a thermoplastic film as we could not take risks when it came to protecting such an expensive item from moisture and other factors during shipment. And for single item D2C e-commerce, we added soft foam corners inside the secondary packaging for product impact protection. For both applications low-density polyethylene (LDPE) was selected, which is the easiest form of plastic to recycle in most parts of the world (including Lithuania). These materials are not glued to the packaging in any way, so they can be easily removed and sorted as plastic.
From textile to paper: The previous version of the packaging contained a glued textile ribbon. Although the ribbon looked luxurious, the problem was that it would prove a nightmare to remove when it came to sorting waste for recycling. And even if the packaging did make it to recycling, the whole packaging would just be discarded. To overcome this issue, we sought out paper alternatives and we ended up with the same Wibalin Buckram we had used for the outer packaging (but this time used multi-layered for thickness) which makes recycling of this box very easy. As well, because it utilises the same material as the outer box, it simplifies logistics and project management.