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Plus Pack: Design is the Key to Going Circular

22. Nov 2022

At the Danish packaging company Plus Pack, design plays a vital role in developing new products. Above all, choosing the right raw material is crucial to developing packaging solutions that increase the recyclability of materials. This approach not only creates more products that are fit for purpose but also for the future

Long reads

The survey: Design Delivers Green

A new study conducted by The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) and DDC, Design Delivers Green, shows that Danish companies increasingly recognize the value of design. Design is also becoming more and more widespread throughout companies. Around 90 percent of the companies that use design strategically say that it improves their bottom line. More specifically, design strengthens the brand, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the survey highlights design’s potential to play a vital role in driving the circular transition of companies.

Plus Pack produces food packaging solutions in aluminum and plastic and is committed to developing circular solutions that are easy to recycle and made from recycled materials. Today, 88 percent of their products fall into the “easy to recycle after use” category, and the remaining 12 percent are also recyclable but not made from mono-materials. The company is working toward the long-term goal of developing circular packaging solutions with zero emissions. 

Camilla Haustrup Hermansen, Deputy CEO and Co-Owner of Plus Pack see design as the key to success in the circular transformation of companies, not to mention their competitiveness, growth, and business development. In fact, this same key has led Plus Pack to develop its portfolio of reusable and recyclable products that support the circular economy while reducing CO2 emissions.

"Design is a crucial driver for the green transition and Danish businesses' competitiveness, growth, and development. Great design not only benefits the economy and the consumers, but it's also good for the planet."

Camilla Haustrup Hermansen

Deputy CEO & Co-Owner, Plus Pack

Join our free DDC Talks event on December 7, 2022, and hear more about how Plus Pack uses design to accelerate its green transition.

Know your product from A-Z

Daily, Plus Pack sees how design adds value to its innovation and business development. Their high customer satisfaction rate backs that up.

By developing packaging made of easily recyclable materials in the existing waste systems, the company contributes to simpler and more responsible packaging consumption and reduces food waste. Essentially, Plus Pack designs its packaging solutions to extend shelf life. Instead of offering one-size-fits-all solutions, the products are all tailored to meet customers’ needs to avoid food waste.

Camilla explains that the design approach has made it easier for the company to gain a holistic view of the systems the product enters. The product’s circularity is also determined in the design phase through the choice of material, color, and shape: “This is where the product’s life cycle is determined,” she says.

During this process, Plus Pack has also spent a particular amount of time clarifying several factors that all feed into the product’s life cycle profile. They have guided all their design decisions by four fundamental questions:

  1. Can the product material be recycled?
  2. Are recycled materials an option?
  3. Is it easy to sort or recycle after use?
  4. Can the product reduce spills and eliminate waste?

"It's about changing the way materials are used, demanding recycled materials, creating cycles that extend the life of products, increasing the possibility of reuse and recycling, and last but not least, giving preference to materials that are easy to identify, sort, and recycle on a large scale."

Camilla Haustrup Hermansen

Deputy CEO & Co-Owner, Plus Pack

This way of working has helped the company to translate complex knowledge into the concrete practice of their daily operations. As a result of rethinking design, production, distribution, and consumption, Plus Packs has made its business much smarter and uses all resources more efficiently. All materials can be incorporated into new products that can be used multiple times, passed on, or sold as a service.

Circularity in decision-making

It’s common knowledge that we must change how we design, produce and consume to meet our climate goals. We also know that up to 80 percent of a product’s carbon footprint is determined in the design phase. This has also been the driving force behind Plus Pack’s innovative packaging designs – something more manufacturing companies should adopt.

"Danish manufacturing companies need to consider the potential of the circular economy in every decision they make, as this has a big impact on the physical solutions and products they bring to market."

Camilla Haustrup Hermansen

Deputy CEO & Co-Owner, Plus Pack

Clearly, a green focus places new and important demands on a company’s ability to innovate, collaborate and share knowledge within the organization. However, designing solutions that fit into a circular economy may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be, as Camilla points out. 

“The trick is to make decisions today that will prevent waste tomorrow. This requires more innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing,” Camilla says, urging more Danish companies to integrate design methods and thinking into their business development. 

The good news is that this is a win-win for the company and the planet.

About Plus Pack

Plus Pack is a Danish-owned international company with headquarters in Odense. The company designs, develops, and manufactures circular and customized packaging solutions for the food industry. It’s currently one of the leading packaging companies in Europe, with sales in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Amalie Ingemann Henriksen

Project Manager

Mail aih@ddc.dk
Phone +45 2759 9783
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