There’s a lot happening all around the packaging industry right now. A major focus area of innovation is the drive to make packaging ever more sustainable, and versatile plastics are an inseparable part of that. As an industry, it’s important for all of us to continually educate customers and consumers about the value of plastics in packaging applications, particularly because they are a reliable solution when considering a more holistic approach to sustainability.
Truly sustainable packaging solutions consider the purpose of the packaging in the first place: to preserve and protect the goods inside and get them where they’re supposed to be.
Environmental impacts of plastic packaging
Plastics help do this in so many ways, across all market sectors– whether it’s in health and medical, home and garden, consumer packaged goods or cosmetics and personal care. Plastics help prevent product loss and dramatically extend the shelf life while allowing us to ship more product with less packaging material—reducing product waste and packaging waste. Our industry continues to innovate and contribute to improved packaging sustainability, by things like, designing bottles that allow for shipping efficiency, downgauging rigid plastic containers, switching to one piece caps and closures, and, producing resource efficient multilayer flexible pouches.
Modern packaging applications help protect the environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy.
What are the sustainability benefits of plastic?
The clip below from the recent video, The Surprising Sustainability Benefits of Plastics from our Plastics Make It Possible® campaign really drives home the point.
In fact the Trucost study Plastics and Sustainability: A Valuation of Environmental Benefits, Costs, and Opportunities for Continuous Improvement found that the environmental cost of using plastics in consumer goods and packaging is nearly four times less than it would be if plastics were replaced with alternative materials. The study is based on natural capital accounting methods, which measure and value environmental impacts—such as consumption of natural water and emissions to air, land and water—which are not typically factored into traditional financial accounting.