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Factors to check for your package to achieve sustainability
What does it mean to produce a sustainable package? The goal is to achieve lower carbon foot print, lower environmental impact, healthy and safe for the community, without sacrificing the performance and cost.
So, what can you do to make the basics of sustainability thinking to direct the design of a packaging product? Here are some best practice recommendations:
- Is it truly recyclable?
Not only the package material, but the package design, label and adhesive, colorant… there are so many things that may cause trouble in recycling stream. Don’t assume, test the recyclability!
- Does it contain recycle content?
- Many containers today have some level of recycled content.
- Is it made from bio-based/derived material?
Does this material resource lower carbon foot print, while at the same time does not sacrifice performance and cost?
- Could the package be light-weighted?
- Has the design been optimized to minimize the amount of material being used?
- Could the shape be redesigned to achieve better package efficiency?
Redesign can help lower the carbon foot print from both the material resource aspect, performance and distribution requirement.
- Does it generate any toxic waste or byproduct in the beginning of life or end of life?
Thoroughly research full life cycle analysis of the package.
A small investment in learning a little more about the sustainability of a package can provide significant benefits in the long term.