Archive for May 6th, 2010

Packaging sustainability – a multi-faceted approach

Posted in Materials, Opinion, Recycling on May 6th, 2010 by admin – 5 Comments
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

I found it interesting to read Incpen director Jane Bickerstaffe’s argument against the introduction of single measures to assess packaging’s impact on the environment. There is so much ‘green wash’ and ‘hogwash’ out there, that it’s not surprising people are confused.

I totally agree that a holistic approach needs to be  adopted, considering all supply chain implications. Companies need to aim for overall resource efficiency and work towards sustainability balancing economic, environmental and social considerations. This may sound ‘easier said than done’, but as Jane points out “it isn’t if it is based on actual information about product damage and spoilage rates and a good dose of common sense. After all, that’s what we all do when we go shopping – we look at financial cost, quality, quantity, aesthetic appeal, life-span and, increasingly, many of us look at environmental information. We balance them all out and decide what we want.”

So take a ’step back’ and think again about your corporate ‘carbon footprint’ policy or your move to make all of your packaging ‘lightweighted’, ‘recyclable or ‘reusable’. You may be ‘hitting the right’ buttons in terms of government policies and legislation, but are you really doing what’s best for the planet and a sustainable future?

Let’s have some common-sense here. With a little thought, a multi-faceted approach can be justified and work. Let us know what you think!

Chris Penfold

To read Jane’s full article just follow the link to our friends at Packaging News