Packaging and Labelling: Smart, Safe & Beautiful
Packaging must provide protection, preserve freshness and nutritional values, commit to environmental responsibility, inform with clear, concise labelling and ;above all be safe: in a beautiful, functional design.
Packaging of Medicinal Mushrooms
Design · Material · Security · Disposal · Environment
Packaging protects the integrity of the medicinal mushroom product preserving nutritional value and flavour while securing the contents from exposure to physical, biological and chemical influences. At the same time packaging must respect environmental concerns regarding the manufacture and disposal of materials.
Function defines form. Package design addresses package protection (barrier to outside influences); size (individual packets, bulk refills); weight and shape (consumer convenience, storage space, shipping environmental cost); aesthetics (a beautiful product is more likely to be integrated into a health program).
Package materials that have direct contact with medicinal or food products must protect the product, the consumer and the environment. This includes all packaging from capsulation to bottles and caps to warehousing. The manufacturing process must be documented to ensure safety to consumer and the minimum usage of natural resources. Use of non-certified organic plant material for capsules or packaging are not acceptable for any certified organic products. Non-transference of packaging materials to contents must be third-party tested and verified.
Package security protects the product’s physical and biological safety. Secure closures and tamper-evident technology must be employed on all packaging. If the package is a refillable from a bulk secure storage only authorized personnel may do the refilling. Non-transference of package materials to product must be assured by the use of verified materials tested by third-party verifiers.
Package disposal must include regenerative design by means of Reuse/ Return / Recycling / Composting. All materials must be verified with respect to disposal. As of 2018 bonded materials may not be recycling accepted, composting materials may be unsustainable, have ethical concerns, not be certified-organic material and may require specialized composting facilities. As technology develops so does this stage of packaging: to ensure proper disposal, current culture ease and availability of recycling facilities is the priority.
Environmental responsibility is imperative to packaging design, manufacture, shipping and disposal. Packaging must be lightweight, safe, source reduction designed, responsible-disposal directed and minimized to prevent waste of material. Protection of product and full circle of materials from the planet back to the planet is the priority. Ongoing education, third-party testing and support of organizations researching materials and recycling methods is recommended.