Sustainability is on the top of everyone’s mind and on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Being a sustainable company is no longer optional in this day and age. Policies and corporate standards are pushing companies to pick up on more sustainable practices in order to reduce their impact on the environment, create less waste, and have a better sustainable footprint.
People often see sustainability as implementing ways to better recycle products, but this isn’t what true sustainability means. True sustainability is working to promote the use of tools like LCA in order to lower the ecological footprint the company has on the environment. It’s important for companies to take a closer look at the materials they are using and how that is affecting the world around them. Even the little things can cause a trickle that substantially increases or decreases our environmental footprint.
For a company to reduce its environmental footprint, there are a few key factors that need to be considered. The first one is durability. Having a durable material can affect a number of things that promote less waste. A stiffer and stronger material supports downgauging, and also allows for converters to cut through the material where there is less waste, and in turn, less damage to the product. With more durability, the package can be smaller because less material is used, and can support itself in order to protect the product from outside damage. It is important for companies to choose materials that can be efficiently processed and produce better output. Sometimes it is not just the material that needs to be observed.
In terms of plastics, it may be an outdated extruder that causes resin waste or molds that could be made better to reduce the amount of scrap. In evaluating processability, a company could potentially save on energy and waste while also reducing material costs.
Using materials that are recyclable is an easy way for companies to reduce their footprint by reducing the number of natural resources being used. Using these materials also entices consumers to buy your product in an effort to support the growing “green” trend.
To learn more about sustainable packaging, go to our Sustainable Packaging course.