Sustainability is not often a word people associate with the packaging industry. Since most of Industrial Printing Solutions’ products are made from either paper or plastics, we sit at an important juncture in the quest to “go green”. The great news is that both are renewable and sustainable resources. The trick is to incorporate a culture of sustainable thinking into every step of our packaging continuum.
IPS has displayed a long-term commitment to greener thinking in the partners we choose, the raw materials we incorporate and the package design techniques we employ.
This culture of sustainability it probably best captured in Wal-Mart’s “7 R’s of Packaging” , as outlined on the Wal-Mart website, are:
Eliminate unnecessary packaging, boxes or layers, and harmful materials.
“Right-size” packages, optimize material strength, and design packages appropriately for contents and merchandising requirements.
Wal-Mart has a goal that all transport packaging will be reused or recycled by 2011 through improved pallets and reusable plastic containers (RPCs).
Use materials made of renewable resources as measured using ASTM D6866, or select biodegradable materials that meet ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868.
Use materials made of the highest recycled content without compromising quality, including post-consumer recycled material (PCR) where appropriate. Components should be chosen based on recycle-ability post-use, with a goal of increasing the municipal recycling rate to 35 percent by 2011.
Achieve all principles at cost parity or cost savings, which requires a supply chain approach.
Get educated on sustainability and how suppliers play a part. The Education Sub-Committee of the Packaging Sustainable Value Network recommends the following curriculum for professionals to learn more about packaging design for sustainability: