3 things you may not know about sustainable packaging, but should

1. Cutting back too much on packaging can do more harm than good

Jeff Wooster of Dow Chemical says decreasing the amount of corrugate you use in packaging a product may seem green, but could result in damaged product during transport. The outcome of a damaged product is loss of revenue and wasted energy and resources.

2. Recycled materials usually aren’t as durable as non-recycled ones

The higher the percentage of recycled material in cardboard, the weaker it will be; therefore recycled corrugate may not be as efficient in protecting your product. When paper is recycled its fibers are shortened, making it structurally weaker than non-recycled paper.

3. Paper isn’t always better than plastic

There is a misperception that because paper is natural and biodegradable that it is a greener product than plastic. However, sustainability takes into consideration how much energy and other resources are used to create products. A paper shopping bag’s manufacturing process uses more energy and water and releases more greenhouse gas than the manufacturing process of a plastic bag.

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Source: Entrepreneur

U.S., Europe follow different routes toward same goal of sustainability

Food and beverage packaging regulations for Europe and the United States have major differences. The European Union enforces stricter regulations that focus on reducing the packaging’s environmental impact and the waste disposal impact on human health, compared to the United States.

The European regulation REACH controls the use of chemicals in packaging and enforces restrictions on use of high risk chemicals, such as lead, hexavalent chromium, mercury and cadmium. This legislation also pushes companies to reduce the amount of packaging used in their products and to reduce the amount of waste their packaging produces. Materials must also be recyclable, incinerated with energy recovery or biodegradable.

Both the United States and European Commission imposes a total ban of bisphenol-A (BPA) on infant products. Studies have shown that the phthalates chemicals have been found to cause birth defects and reproductive malfunctions in humans. Globally, a ban on BPA and phthalates in food contract packaging is also being enforced by ISO regulations.

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Source: Packaging Digest

Consumers willing to pay more for sustainable packaging

According to a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest, consumers are likely to pay more for food and beverage packaging that has value added features related to freshness and sustainability. Results from the global survey show that 55% of participants would pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer and for environmental packaging. Participants in South Africa, Malaysia and India were willing to pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer. Participants from Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia would pay more for environmentally friendly packaging.

Packaging that prevents spills, keeps food and beverages at the right temperature and that makes it easier to eat or drink on the go ranked the lowest at 34%, 33% and 31%.

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Source: FoodBev.com