ASDA Lakeland Walmart

Private Brand Innovates in Sustainability

Private Brand has come along way over the last few years and sustainability has begun to play a significant role for Private Brands and the retailers who own them. Trade publication Brand Packaging features several Private Brands in its Sustainable Packaging Design Gallery. The online gallery showcases packages that have creatively addressed their impact on the environment.

Amazon sells hundreds of products under its Frustration-Free Packaging initiative, which requires smaller, easy-open, recyclable and self-shippable packaging. This fall, with its AmazonBasics launch, the retailer added dozens more to the mix. Optimizing the product-to-package ratio to minimize excess material, the store brand employs brown, kraft-corrugated packaging and limits printing to just one eco-friendly ink color; materials incorporate at least 70 percent recycled content. The package itself is designed to be opened without tools, and with all contents removed, in under 120 seconds. In all this, Amazon ensures performance doesn’t suffer: packaging must pass a testing protocol that simulates the environment of delivery systems like FedEx.


  • Recycled materials
  • Source reduced
  • Resource optimized

\"\"ASDA fabric softener
United Kingdom
In January, ASDA stores began testing fabric softener sold from vending machines in reusable pouches, marking the start of a revolutionary retail concept. The stand-up pouches feature a spout, cap and RFID tag and are made from PET/PA/LLDPE plastic laminate. The pouches can be refilled up to 10 times, saving the shopper £0.40 ($0.62) each refill as compared with purchasing the product in a traditional plastic bottle. In addition to shopper savings, the retailer also benefits by reducing its carbon footprint, freeing up shelf space and saving on transportation and storage costs. The trial is still underway, but ASDA reports positive consumer feedback.

Trial Partners

  • Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
  • eziserv
  • McBrides
  • Oakdene Hollins
  • Unilever


  • Reusable format
  • Resource optimized

\"\"Tri Ply pans
United Kingdom

UK housewares retailer Lakeland commissioned a design for its Tri-Ply pan packaging that would reduce costs and capture shoppers’ attention. The solution turned out to have sustainable attributes as well. Because the unique tripod shape of the carton closely follows the profile of the pans, it essentially “designs out” over-packaging. The boxes incorporate 100 percent recycled material, and are designed as self-erect packages (no glue), which means they can ship flat. When compared to an equivalent rectangular carton, the smaller box offers material and transport savings of 50 percent. The larger sizes also offer the convenience of a carry-home handle.

  • Package Design
  • Nicepond


  • Source reduced
  • Resource optimized

See the entire gallery.


Sainsbury Sustainable Packaging Initiatives


John Sainsbury founded Sainsbury\’s in 1869; his first store was located on Drury Lane and was a small dairy, selling just butter, eggs, milk and later cheese. Until the mid 1990\’s it was Britain\’s largest grocery retailer. However, in 1995 it lost the top spot to Tesco and eight years later, in 2003, was pushed into third place by Asda (Walmart). Sainsbury currently has more than 500 stores in the UK .

For an interesting look at the history of Sainsbury take a look at The Sainsbury Archive. The archives are a unique collection of more than 16,000 documents, photographs and objects, which illustrate the history of today\’s supermarket chain.

According to the Archive website:

Sainsbury\’s early grocery packaging used various elaborate and colorful designs, but common styles and colors can be seen on some labels. By the 1940s, the importance of design to unify the company image was recognized. Alan Sainsbury wrote that:

\”Although the quality of the particular food… is what finally counts with the discerning housewife, it should be the aim of the progressive retailer to present his wares in the most attractive dress and, if he sells food, in the most hygienic manner.\”

This is certainly an interesting thought from the founder of Sainsbury, it gives a glimpse into the mind of a grocer well before the invention of \”Brand Management\” Fast forward to today and Sainsbury is featured in the October Edition of Brand Packaging Magazine two Sainsbury products were featured in their first Sustainable Packaging Design Gallery. Below are excerpts from the article.


Sainsbury\’s milk

Though it may be some time before the phrase, \”Pick up a bag of milk and a loaf of bread on your way home,\” becomes the norm, U.K. retailer Sainsbury\’s is still betting that a revolutionary new milk packaging system will be a hit with green consumers.
The JUGIT concept is comprised of a recyclable pouch that fits into a specially designed reusable jug. The bags are made from a low density plastic material specifically tested for strength and durability. After the pouch is dropped into the jug and the main body of the lid closed-trapping the top of the bag using secure clips-a spike attachment on the inside of the lid punctures the pouch and forms a no-leak seal. A recloseable spout then flips open for pouring.
The system has the potential to reduce packaging waste by 75 percent. Sainsbury\’s is reportedly considering using the bags for its own-brand juice and is also examining alternatives to the wine box, using the same packaging technology. JUGIT concept: Dairy Crest; Injection-molded jug: RPC Group
Sustainability Criteria: Compostable/Recyclable Package; Reusable/Refillable Format; Source Reduced/Lightweighted

SO Organic Wild Rocket salad

\"sainsburys_salad\"Sainsbury also introduced its SO Organic Wild Rocket salad in non-genetically modified, compostable film in select stores last year. The package was developed in response to shopper requests for such products and the retailer\’s own goals for sustainability-and it was developed without compromising the product\’s shelf life or the package\’s performance (particularly the seal).
The unique film is a technical achievement in that it works on moist and damp products like fresh produce and salads; it has industrial compost certification; and it is \”progressing well\” with home composting testing-achievements that many competitive materials are unable to realize.
Branding is clean and simple, calling out the retailer\’s SO Organic identity, but letting the fresh greens take center stage.
Sainsbury\’s reports that 90 percent of its SO Organic produce is now available in recycled, recyclable or compostable packaging. The retailer is working to reduce and recycle its packaging materials overall and, as in the case of this film, to help reduce the amount of packaging customers need to discard after shopping at Sainsbury\’s. Compostable film: Amcor Flexibles, Flextrus
Sustainability Criteria: Recycled/Renewable Materials; Compostable/Recyclable Package