Sustainable packaging is a popular topic and is in continuous development.
In order to assess the sustainability of your products and to improve it, you require a very broad approach, you need to analyze the entire supply-chain. Packaging is only a small part of it, however, packaging is the perfect way to communicate with your customers and to create an experience for your customers, that connects to your sustainability goals.
It is very difficult to value the different drivers of sustainability. Recycling, Bio-based materials, compostable materials, renewable raw materials, all common terms and all ways to improve sustainability. Some materials are 100% recyclable, that sounds very durable, but it is possible that it takes a lot of energy to recycle the product. This is just one example of the many possible conflicts between the various pillars of durability.
When choosing your sustainable package, you can look at the following points:
Reduce: By using less packaging and creating less waste, you reduce the environmental impact.
Renew: Renewable raw materials are materials that can be “harvested” again within a year. Plastics made of corn / potato starch or bio-PE made of sugar cain are examples.
Recycle: Recycling of plastics is developing rapidly. Film often consists of several plastic layers of a different kind, PE, PP, PA, PET, are commonly used plastics which together form a laminated film. For the recycling process, these plastic materials must be separated. In the case of laminated film, this is very difficult. There are plastics which are used as mono materials, think of Mono APET trays, Mono PP film. Basically these mono materials are easier to recycle, but separation and collection / processing is still under development.
Replace: Sometimes it is possible to change to an entirely different type of packaging which is far more sustainable than your current packaging. We have seen various examples where changing the type of packaging (for example from carton box to plastic bag) not only sustainability was improved, but also sales went up.
Rethink: Think about the entire supply chain, where can you improve sustainability, what can be done smarter? What is the easiest way to improve? How can the pacakaging be involved. Here are some interesting topics which could help you.
On our partnerwebsite www.dutchbiopack.com you can find additional information about sustainability in the packaging industry.