The sustainability conversation is one that is being had in boardrooms across the county. Environmental consciousness has become quite the buzz phrase, especially when it comes to packaging, and more and more companies are striving to offer eco-friendly packaging, especially since consumer demands continue to require it. But what exactly is sustainability?
Some, mistakenly, understand it to mean packaging products in recyclable materials – even when those materials may not be recyclable everywhere, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Sustainable means far more than just offering recyclable packaging.
Sustainability starts with design. Before the manufacturing process even begins, design should consider how to minimize material but maximize performance. At the drawing board, designers should be looking at how to use less paper, recyclable labels, environmentally-friendly inks, etc. And sustainable packaging shouldn’t compromise strength. The entire design process should take into account how to use less and achieve more.
Sustainability means a focus on manufacturing that has less impact. From water waste treatment, to using flexo water-based inks, to ensuring all suspended solids remain well below government regulations, your supplier’s manufacturing process should consider all aspects of sustainability. Using less energy through a variety of different means also makes a huge difference.
Sustainability is about the materials used. Again, this is not just recycled or recyclable. Corrugated board materials should be 100% renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Liners and mediums should also be considered – manufactured using recycled paper sourced from local mills.
Sustainability means continuing to recycle the same material over and over and over again. When a sheet of corrugated board is created, what happens to the leftovers? Are they just thrown in the recycle bin or are they reused as fibre for recycled paperboard, thereby cutting down on transportation waste? Even simple things such as this make a huge difference when it comes to sustainability.
The real goal of sustainable packaging is to protect and package while having the least impactful effect on the environment. To be truly sustainable though, this needs to be done with far more intent than just being sure that your materials are recyclable in most areas. Make sure that your supplier focuses on every aspect of sustainability – not just one.
If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint at the source, Packaging Technologies Inc. has you covered. Our focus on sustainability means big gains for you and the environment. Contact us today by calling 1-800-303-5883 or visit www.ptibox.com.