5 Ways to Make Prototype Product Packaging and Mock-ups the Eco-friendly Way

Prototyping and the creation of product mockups can be wasteful. This is because you don’t yet know the exact design of the packaging you intend to build. As such, you have to conceptualize, build, and rebuild again till you have the right package. Most prototypes are plastic-made. Plastic is not an eco-friendly form of packaging because it pollutes the environment and endangers animal life. Most environmentally-conscious consumers will buy products with packaging that is eco-friendly. It’s thus advisable to design premium-quality retail packaging because studies show that 50% of customers are willing to make extra purchases from brands using premium retail packaging.

But as global citizens, we also have the responsibility to develop processes and products that preserve the pristine nature of our environment. But when making our physical prototypes, we forget to ask ourselves whether our tools, processes, and materials are eco-friendly. There are many ways to design perfect prototypes while keeping our environment pollution-free. For instance, your prototype inventions shouldn't plastic. You can make robust prototype parts from wax, cardboard, paper, or wood. This article presents to you some of the tricks and hacks that can help you in making packaging prototypes and mock ups the eco-friendly way.

Use sustainable materials for your product packaging mockup

Most designers make their prototypes from plastics, but this shouldn’t be the standard, especially; during the early stages of prototype development. To go green, you should think about fashioning your prototypes from wood or natural wax. Wood products such as cardboard and papers are also an ideal choice. Most designers shape these materials using laser cutters and use them to make prototypes. If you’re using 3-D-printing for your prototyping, you should consider looking for eco-friendly materials for your 3-D-printer. For instance, you can look for hemp or starch extrusion materials for your 3-D product mockup. These eco-friendly materials will reduce your carbon footprint.

Use recyclable materials

The creation of a mock prototype is a continuous process that culminates in the development of an ideal packaging design. But while the process is on-going, you may find that you have a lot of waste generated from repeated cycles of building and rebuilding your prototypes. To avoid such wastage use recyclable materials to avoid generating too much waste. It isn’t environment-friendly to generate too much waste when making a product packaging mockup.


You don’t have to always buy prototyping materials such as paper, wood, and cardboard from your hardware. You can use waste materials from your recycle bin such as those acquired from food packaging. Milk jugs, cottage cheese containers, pizza packaging boxes, and wine bottles can be perfect sources of prototyping materials. Scavenging from old consumer goods is a perfect way to get free prototyping materials that are eco-friendly. By using such materials you’ll also be helping in the recycling process that helps reduce waste.

Using proper mechanical design processes

During the late stages of product packaging mockup design, you can use clever engineering to reduce part count and material usage. Even if your prototype can’t use environment-friendly materials, you can reduce the negative impact that the material may have by making the prototype parts with little material. For example, you can miniaturize the prototype design. You can thin these plastic parts in some areas and rib them in some strategic areas to give the product packaging mockups strength that will prevent them from collapsing.

Use low-tech tools to process different types of mockups

Computer-based prototyping tools consume lots of power. Laser cutters use high-powered lasers to cut materials, and 3-D-printers use high-wattage heaters to melt your extrusion materials for prototyping. You should consider using low-tech tools during the making of your product packaging mockup to cut down on excessive power consumption. You should instead use traditional tools such as hand saws, knives, scissors, and rulers to process your prototyping materials. Using such tools may take a lot of time, but you’ll save a lot on energy.

If you’re an environment-conscious global citizen in the packaging prototype and mock up design industry, you should make these five considerations to preserve the environment.