What is sustainable packaging?
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition defines sustainable packaging as being the following:
A. Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle
B. Meets market criteria for performance and cost
C. Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy
D. Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials
E. Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices
F. Is made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle
G. Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy
H. Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed loop cycles
Companies are carefully selecting their packaging materials because of environmental issues. On the flip side, consumers are now also demanding more sustainable packaging options. Large retailers want less wasteful packaging that can harm the environment. They also want more efficient secondary packaging because they are still looking out for their bottom line. That’s the struggle, save the planet or save the budget? They’re going to lean toward budget every time, that’s why it’s important to point out the environmental impacts. The retailers’ motivation for adopting greener packaging materials mirrors the environmental sensitivities of participants across the protective transit packaging marketplace.
Here’s some of the environmental concerns that impact both suppliers and users of protective packaging materials:
- Positive ROI associate with sustainable packaging. Again, the products need to be effective in the budget and use-ability.
- Encouraging the use of recycled and biodegradable packaging materials. There’s a need for innovated greener secondary packaging products and systems.
- “Closed-loop” logistics management systems. This helps the recovery and re-use of packaging materials like pallets and steel drums.
- Reducing the amount, weight, and volume of transit packaging material, therefore reducing transportation fuel consumption.