With initiatives like the WalMart Scorecard in the U.S. and the E.U.’s Packaging Directive, delivering sustainable packaging is now an integral part of today’s global competitive market. Sustainable packaging is a relatively new addition to the environmental considerations for packaging. It requires more analysis and documentation to look at the package design, choice of materials, processing, and life cycle. This is not just the vague “green movement” that many businesses and companies have been trying to include over the past years. Companies implementing these eco-friendly actions are reducing their carbon footprint, using more recycled materials, reusing more package components, etc. They often encourage suppliers, contract packagers, and distributors to do likewise.
SPS Corporation has been at the forefront of this movement since its inception. We have worked with companies to design their packaging and process to meet the goals of sustainability. In general, the broad goals of sustainable packaging are:
- Functional – product protection, safety, functionality
- Cost Effective – if it is too expensive, customers are unlikely to consider it
- Custodial – support long-term human and ecological health
Specific factors for the sustainable design of packaging may include:
- Source Reduction – reduced packaging materials and layers of packaging, film down gauging, Lean Wrap principles
- Logistics Efficiency – cube utilization, reduced tare weight, enablement of efficient transportation
- Recycled Content – as available and functional to the product use cycle
- Recyclability – use of materials which are frequently and easily recycled, reduction of materials which hinder recyclability
- Reusability – repeated reuse of package or reuse for other purposes
- Renewable and biodegradable materials – avoid materials toxic to humans or the environment
Call us today and let our Packaging Engineering Team work with your organization to grade the sustainability of your package designs and processes. We can help you reduce the impact to our environment and meet the increasing expectations for lifecycle friendly packaging.
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