This paper discusses food packaging based on sustainable design concepts. Firstly, it gives a brief overview of packaging, including functions and commonly used materials. Besides, this paper introduces the present situation of the packaging industry, combined with the actual condition of the importance of sustainable packaging in contemporary society. The necessity of sustainable design is emphasized by packagings’ large market, its negative impacts on the environment, strong connection with food waste, and people’s, especially millennium’s attitudes towards sustainable packaging. A large amount of waste has polluted the environment and consumed much energy, and food is high on the wastage list, which is a result of inadequate packaging. People are willing to improve the situation. Also, this paper discusses the connotation, 4R1D principles, drivers, and barriers to sustainable packaging. Sustainable design is not limited to the material, unique structures and additional functions can also be interpreted as a part of sustainable design. Last but not least, a design for sustainable food packaging to protect the contents in it is given. The supply chain of food is analyzed, from farming to disposal, to explore design opportunities. Process of design, including ideation, mock-ups, prototypes, storyboard, and comparison of current products, and this design is shown. The study aims at introducing the current situation of the packaging and food industry and comes out with sustainable food packaging that could protect the content in it to protect the environment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Food--Packaging--Environmental aspects; Food--Packaging--Design; Sustainable design; Origami

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Lorraine Justice

Advisor/Committee Member

Stan Rickel

Advisor/Committee Member

Alex Lobos


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes