Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is widely discussed at conferences and in the packaging media, there is no consensus as to what it is. Many in the packaging industry are confused; consumers are also very confused and the potential exists for unscrupulous companies to market packages as ‘sustainable’ when they are not and thus mislead consumers. However, a single definition of sustainable packaging is unfeasible, as the sustainability of a packaging material intrinsically depends on aspects specific to its life cycle, such as its manufacturing process, the length of its supply chain, its use and finally its disposal options. Many professionals would even argue that there is no such thing as ‘sustainable packaging’. Rather there are improvements that can be made to the packaging’s attributes and its manufacturing process in order to reduce its life cycle impacts and improve the efficiency of the supply chain. Sustainable packaging is important because it reduces the ecological footprint of all the stages in the product's life-cycle. It helps both the producer and the consumer reduce their environmental impact.

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