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Sustainability and Packaging

Sustainability is a term used across a large number of industries. At the core, one can think of sustainability as the measurable concept of doing business without depleting resources or harming the community. Nowhere is sustainability more applicable than in the packaging industry. Containers and packaging that are cost effective and environmentally sound are critical to our industry’s business success and the impact we have on society. One industry group offers criteria by which the sustainability of packaging can be measured.

Packaging that is beneficial, safe and healthy for people throughout its lifecycle;
Meets market criteria for performance and cost;
Uses renewable energy throughout its lifecycle;
Maximizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials;
Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices;
Is made from materials healthy in all probable end-of-life scenarios;
Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy.
A Life Cycle assessment is a key tool in assessing sustainability.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) is the assessment of the environmental impact of a given product or service throughout its lifespan.

The goal of LCA is to compare the environmental performance of products and services, to be able to choose the least burdensome one. The term 'life cycle' refers to the notion that a fair, holistic assessment requires the looking at a product at every step of the way - from raw materials to disposal, and all the steps in between. In packaging, this means looking at how the materials are produced, products manufactured, used/discarded by the consumer, and recycled back into use.

The terms Cradle-to-Grave (complete life cycle), Cradle-to-Cradle (from birth to re-birth), Cradle-to-Gate (Material manufacture to product delivery), and Wheel-to-Well (efficiency of fuels used for transportation) are terms often used to describe the life cycle, or parts of it.



Source: www.articlecity.com