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Over the last decade, sustainability or green packaging has become a hot topic in the packaging industry. Sustainability has permeated all aspects of packaging, driven by retailers' demands, public awareness, economic pressures (especially petroleum products) and government policies. From the source of the raw material to the final treatment of the product , and ultimately into a very complex problem.
Given the depth of the concept of sustainable packaging, you can use these methods to improve the environmental impact of packaging.
Design the packaging from the life cycle perspective.
There are many life cycle assessment tools that can help packaging designers understand the impact of different packaging on the environment.
For example, the online design software of the United States sustainable packaging alliance can help users make better material selection and more correct design decisions through an intuitive environmental indicator. EarthShift's smart packaging life cycle assessment software (PackageSmartLCA) also allows packaging designers to assess the environmental impact of their work.
But one thing to note is that sustainable metrics and standards are evolving and changing, so if you choose a solution, stick with it. Using different tools to measure the same package may result in different results, so the key is to maintain consistency and find the right direction.
Minimize the use of packaging materials.
Evaluate each component in the package. Can we minimize the use of packaging materials without compromising product integrity?
For example, the famous all-natural sports drink maker, LIVOrganic, used to use traditional PET (polyethylene terephthalate, a resin) beverage bottle. They now use Amcor's technology to reduce the weight of a 16.9-ounce beverage bottle from 36.8 grams to 31.4 grams, the weight loss ratio reached 14.6 percent.
Currently, suppliers are constantly developing new containers, lids, labels and other products to reduce the packaging volume and reduce the price area.
Choose new alternative packaging for product distribution.
New machinery and new materials enable packaging manufacturers to produce packaged bags, pallets, or shelf packages with less material to minimize waste on packaging.
For potable water distributors, it is risky to convert bottled water shipping packaging from corrugated boxes to shrink films. Nested packing in poly (Polypack) company to help them achieve a bottle of staggered, and through the shrink film to ensure the bottles in the transport process is stable, thereby reducing the demand for corrugated pallet or mat, achieve the goal of the cost savings.
According to the company's boss, customers love the new packaging because it uses less material, is easier to handle, and has a strong appeal.
Look for opportunities to reuse packaging.
In costa rica, pizza hut customers are recommended to use a brand new pizza boxthat can be split into cardboard and small boxes packed with food. In 2010, KFC also introduced reusable boxes and won the green packagingawards of the year. The box is a transparent bowl with a "reusable" lid and can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. More importantly, it adopts the patented technology of no porosity and permeability, which enables the moisture to penetrate without opening the hole, thus achieving the purpose of preservation. In addition, the box is made of 100% polypropylene, which is the first choice for food storage in the catering industry.
But repeatability is not just a requirement for food packaging. Puma also takes this very seriously. The company have teamed up with YvesBehar, a leading industrial designer in San Francisco, to create an eco-friendly package called "smart little pockets" designed to reduce the waste caused by traditional shoe boxes. The packaging consists of a piece of cardboard and a bag, get rid of the traditional top and bottom of the box, with only four sides as a support frame, and then with a bag, and hands to carry the bag to the reserved holes through the side. This saves the cardboard material, and does not need to provide the customer with the shoe box bag. In addition, the paper is 100% recycled paper, cloth is recyclable polyester nonwovens. It is said this packaging can save puma up to 65% of its paper and lots of electricity and water.
Improve your product.
The most successful transition to sustainable packaging is household cleaning products.Starting with detergents and other detergents and chemicals, household cleaning companies are using concentrated formulas to reduce the amount of water consumed during the life cycle. In addition, they also reduce the impact of packaging products on the environment by means of small packaging and supplementary packaging.
Try to use recyclable packaging design.
In the production process of packaging materials, the most efficient way to save energy is to recycle.Although many materials, such as paper and PET, have already achieved large-scale recycling. While coatings, labels, and other elements that enhance the packaging are difficult to find the right way to recycle, but now we have a new option. SmartPlanetTechnologies has unveiled a promising technology, the EarthBoard. It uses a coating made of powdery minerals, which is very easy to recycle and is an ideal substitute for polyethylene coated cardboard. In addition, the coating can be used on recycled cardboard and will not affect the brightness of the paper.
Adopt packaging strategies that encourage consumption.
According to the epa, about 34 million tons of food waste is produced annually in the United States, so food packaging that promotes consumption is often more likely to make a breakthrough in sustainability.The technology that can be used to reduce food waste is mainly resealable packaging, packaging that clearly indicates the date of use, and other techniques that help to separate the product from its packaging. Such as Herman designed convenient packaging for top good mayonnaise, it adds a inside container by the non-stick coating material, can let the consumer to easily remove residues at the end of the bottle a little mayonnaise.
In addition, although the large packaging looks more sustainable than the individual packaging, the environmental advantages of the small package are greater in terms of the actual consumption rate of the product.
Understand the sources of packaging materials.
More and more retailers and consumers are increasing their emphasis on sustainable packaging, so make sure you're using environmentally responsible packaging. Mattel, for example, was severely criticized by greenpeace, because the company contains a lot of the cardboard packaging used in wood fiber from Indonesian rainforests. To this end, mattel introduced new sustainable procurement principles to regulate the company's purchase of paper and wood fibers.Hasbro soon followed suit.
Find opportunities to save space from the distribution process.
At Michigan state university's second packaging peak, BBS, industry expert KevinHoward once again stressed the importance of packaging design for saving logistics and distribution costs."You need to know what's going on in your environment," he said. "some of the packaging that doesn't work through the international safety transportation organization (ISTM) is unimpeded in practice."
Consider raw materials made from recycled materials.
Packaging based on recycled materials -- from bioplastics made from corn or sugar cane to protective packaging made from mushrooms -- has become one of the fastest growing areas.However, compared with traditional materials, these new technologies have some problems in actual production.
Life cycle assessment is best used when selecting renewable materials for packaging. To understand the performance of these materials in the regeneration process;Identify their sources and ensure that their performance meets your packaging requirements.