Making Sense of Sustainability in Packaging

Making sense of sustainability is the process by which companies arrive at a series of strategies to achieve core, environmental targets and related goals. It is not simply the development of ‘sustainable packaging’ or similar, although that might be part of the equation, it is the adoption of a suite of methodologies that individually have a positive environmental impact at one or more stages of the supply chain.

A survey on UK packaging trends conducted by Smithers Pira in association with Packaging News, shed light on how the packaging industry approached the concept of sustainability in a concrete fashion. When asked to gauge the importance of various strategies in delivering packaging contributing towards their sustainability goals, overall, respondents rated the minimization of packaging waste as the main element of their strategy, with two-thirds of respondents rating this as very important or critical to their efforts. Lightweighting/downgauging also featured near the top of the rankings, cited as very important/critical by 61% of respondents while the other key strategy leading to cost reduction, energy conservation, was rated similarly by 47% of respondents. Other key findings included a greater emphasis on the manufacture of recyclable materials (rated very important or critical by 64% of respondents) than the use of recycled materials (46%); and relatively little emphasis on the use of eco-labelling or development of biodegradables (26%). The promotion of packaging as a means to reduce food waste, meanwhile, was rated as critical by the highest share of respondents at 30%.

The Making Sense of Sustainabilty white paper examines all the elements of the sustainability agenda, reviewing the various drivers and strategies as well as providing case studies of the actions of leading brands and exploring some of the solutions on offer.

Topic areas covered include:

  • Defining Sustainability
  • Questioning sustainability in the packaging industry
  • Recent developments in sustainable packaging
  • Driving force of sustainability and obstacles
  • Sustainability in different packaging industries
  • Global overview: differences between West and East
  • UK focus: incentives for sustainable business