For brands
08 Jul 2024

Sustainable Packaging Trends for UK Brands in 2024

As consumer preferences evolve and environmental responsibility becomes more prominent, businesses are moving toward environmentally friendly packaging solutions. In 2024, a significant number of consumer goods brands in the UK are prioritizing innovative and sustainable packaging to meet market demands and comply with regulatory standards. Here are the key trends driving sustainable packaging.

Sustainable Packaging Trends for UK Brands in 2024

Heightened Consumer Awareness & Education

Packaging plays a critical role in consumer choices, influencing one-third of all decisions. Brands are now expected to educate their customers about the responsible disposal of packaging materials. Clear instructions on what can and cannot be recycled are becoming essential on product packaging.

The Circular Economy Practices

In the context of packaging, the circular economy emphasizes designing for recyclability, using recycled content, promoting reuse, and reducing single-use waste through supply chain collaboration.

Packaging should be made from materials that are easily recyclable within existing systems. Simplifying materials by using single or easily separable components improves recyclability, while complex, multi-layered materials often end up as waste.

Incorporating recycled content into packaging creates a closed-loop system where materials are collected, recycled and reused, reducing the need for virgin resources. It also supports a sustainable supply chain. Effective collaboration between manufacturers, retailers, and waste management facilities is essential for efficient collection, sorting, and recycling of materials.

For example, Amazon aims to use 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 and is investing in programs such as Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, which uses 95% easily recyclable materials. They are also working with the Recycling Partnership to improve recycling infrastructure.

Properly Sized Packaging

Right-sizing, or matching packaging dimensions to product content, is becoming increasingly popular. This approach not only reduces material and shipping costs, but also reduces carbon emissions. One survey found that 67% of consumers would rather not buy from an online retailer that uses oversized packaging, underscoring the importance of this trend.

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging

There are many benefits for UK businesses in adopting sustainable packaging:

Improved brand image and customer loyalty: Many UK consumers are willing to pay a premium for products with eco-friendly packaging, improving brand perception and customer loyalty.

Cost and waste reduction: Using recycled materials and minimizing void fillers results in lighter, more cost-effective packaging. Compostable and biodegradable options further reduce landfill waste.

Government incentives: The UK government supports sustainable practices through various schemes such as the Plastic Packaging Tax and Environmental Investment Relief.

Future-proofing: Embracing sustainability prepares companies for future regulatory changes and meets growing consumer expectations.

Leading Brands in Sustainable Packaging

Several UK brands are leading the way in sustainable packaging:

Innocent Drinks: Uses 100% recycled plastic for its bottles and aims to be fully recyclable by 2025.

Lush Cosmetics: Known for using recycled materials and offering packaging-free products to minimize waste.

Pukka Herbs: Uses organic, biodegradable tea bags and recyclable packaging.


In today's environmentally conscious world, sustainable packaging is not just an option but a necessity for consumer goods brands in the UK. By adopting eco-friendly practices, businesses can enhance their brand image, reduce costs, align with government initiatives and ensure they are well positioned for the future.