Definition of Sustainability
In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Sustainable packaging is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. This involves increased use of life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment (LCA) to help guide the use of packaging which reduces the environmental impact and ecological footprint. It includes a look at the whole of the supply chain: from basic function to marketing, and then through to end of life (LCA) and rebirth. Additionally, an eco-cost to value ratio can be useful. The goals are to improve the long-term viability and quality of life for humans and the longevity of natural ecosystems. Sustainable packaging must meet the functional and economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is not necessarily an end state but is a continuing process of improvement.
Sustainable packaging is a relatively new addition to the environmental considerations for packaging. It requires more analysis and documentation to look at the package design, choice of materials, processing, and life-cycle. This is not just the vague “green movement” that many businesses and companies have been trying to include over the past years. Companies implementing eco-friendly actions are reducing their carbon footprint, using more recycled materials and reusing more package components. They often encourage suppliers, contract packagers, and distributors to do likewise.
Sustainable Packaging Innovations in FMCG Sector: Corporate Vision & Goals Procter & Gamble Plans to Go 100% Recyclable By 2030
Procter & Gamble (P&G), the parent company of many, many brands that we all use, is aiming for 100% recyclable packaging by 2030 — Downy, Bounce, Pampers, Tide, Gain, Gillette, Dawn dish detergent, Vicks vapor rub, and Mr. Clean are just some of the brands under P&G. P&G noted that it believes packaging innovation has the power to make a difference in CO2 emissions every year. Recycling already saves more than 700 million tonnes of C02 each year. As a part of its sustainability plan, Ambition 2030, P&G wants to achieve 100% recyclable or reusable packaging. It will also cut use of virgin petroleum plastic in packaging by 50% by 2030.
Henkel’s complete Oral Care tube portfolio will be fully recyclable by early 2021
To advance the sustainability features of its toothpaste tubes, Henkel uses Albéa’s proprietary Greenleaf tube technology, which enables the packaging to be fully recyclable wherever collection schemes are active. Greenleaf tubes are recognized by the Association of Plastic Recylers (USA) and Suez.Circpack (Europe) as technically recyclable within the existing, effective HDPE bottles recycling stream. What’s more, the unique tube-making technology uses a single-blown film, thus significantly reducing the product’s CO2 footprint.
The Role of Packaging Standards & Regulations in Driving the Circular Economy
GA Circular, a Singapore based Organization recently published a report titled “ The Role of Packaging Standards & Regulations in Driving the Circular Economy”
This report aims to review the development of packaging waste policies and standards as a response to the challenges facing the world. Also examined here is the role, that policy interventions can play in addressing the growing environmental challenges posed by packaging and packaging waste. The European Union (EU) and Japan have led the efforts in both general and targeted policy interventions within their respective jurisdictions.
A review of the principles underlying the policy efforts in the EU and Japan reveals three consistent themes:
– Hierarchy of the various potential and existing interventions
– Setting of national targets
– Circular economy/life cycle approach to packaging
A review of the policy landscape in effect in the EU and Japan is conducted in this report, to explore the various regulations and standards which impact packaging and packaging waste. Within the EU and Japan, there are complex policy structures, regulations, and standards in place, to effect a reduction and recovery of packaging material across its life cycle.
This report also explores the regulatory landscape in each of the ten Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in light of the global policies and the efforts to address the issue of packaging waste. Whilst many countries in ASEAN are making attempts to address the issue of packaging waste, a comprehensive policy approach is lacking.
In India, the EPR framework has been recently introduced & is still work-in-progress.
– Various internet resources
– UN Report on Sustainability