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Top 25 Sustainable Stories Of 2021

by The Dieline on 12/22/2021 | 3 Minute Read

Brands in 2021 continued to develop packaging solutions that are more sustainable and better for the environment. With awareness of the global single-use plastic crisis, brands continued to prioritize sustainability, with some going entirely plastic-free and others introducing refillable products.

Replacing plastic with metal or cardboard is just the tip of the melting iceberg; research and development into new substrates with similar properties to plastic—think transparency, flexibility, and lightweighting— are being made out of regenerative and biodegradable raw materials. In addition to sustainable packaging, 2021 continued to see QSR brands fund and experiment with single-use food and beverage packaging alternatives.

Consumers are growing wise to greenwashing, and examples of the practice continue to shock the public. They're also finding plastic in unexpected places like the candy aisle, inspiring start-ups to imagine plastic-free alternatives.

The urgency for more sustainable and closed-loop products and packaging remains unabated, despite pressing and immediate global issues such as supply chain constraints and a persistent pandemic. Fortunately, as demonstrated below, the call for more ecologically minded consumption continues to be heard by talented and creative designers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.

Below are the top 25 sustainability stories of 2021.


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