Packaging needs to catch up with product development in moving towards improved sustainability performance. There are consumer pressures mounting in the right direction, and it has been predicted that sustainable packaging will make up 32% of all packaging by 2014. There are even carbon taxes on packaging in the Netherlands. But this is not just about reducing the amount of packaging material used, or even using recycled and recyclable materials. It's about finding creative ways to design packaging with a cradle-to-cradle perspective, in many cases imagining future uses that are completely unrelated to the original purpose of the packaging.
There's a brilliant set of examples, evaluations, interviews and principles in the book Designing Sustainable Packaging by Scott Boylston.
For those of us who are not package designers, it's a good idea to be aware of these examples and guidelines so that we can be discerning consumers. So what follows a 'list of lists' on better package design.