Packaging Design for Sustainability
The website is live and free to use! Check it out at www.sustainablepackdesign.com
In mid-2011, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment established a joint working group with the packaging industry to develop an approach to optimize packaging reduction. One of the first commitments from the joint task force was for industry to lead the development of design guidance that packaging decision-makers would voluntarily use to enhance packaging sustainability.
This initiative was taken up by PAC NEXT, an organization created in 2011 by PAC (The Packaging Association) to bring together industry efforts towards eliminating packaging waste. PAC NEXT engaged Marina Pietrosel from ÉEQ and Adam Gendell from the SPC to co-chair the project, which commenced in June 2012.
The goal of the project was to deliver guidance that packaging
decision-makers in the US and Canada will use to inform design decisions
that result in more sustainable packaging. The website went live in May 2013.
The SPC, ÉEQ, and PAC NEXT each played an important role in executing this project. PAC NEXT facilitated the initiative and provided a technical committee of approximately 40 representatives from PAC NEXT member companiess, which were engaged to provide input and guidance during the development of the deliverable. The SPC and ÉEQ managed development of the guidance for sustainable packaging, building upon the foundational works of the SPC's Design Guidelines for Sustainable Packaging and ÉEQ's Voluntary Code for the Optimization of Packaging, Containers, and Printed Matter. By leading this initiative, the SPC and ÉEQ leveraged their expertise in packaging sustainability and created the next generation of design guidance.
The deliverable for this project consists of an interactive website for an audience of all packaging decision-makers in the US and Canada. The guidance is intended to educate and address:
- The relationship between sustainability and packaging - fostering an understanding of the social, environmental, and economic attributes of packaging, both desired and unwanted.
- The tradeoffs between unwanted impacts and desired benefits - how to manage burden-shifting and changes to the functions of packaging.
- Design strategies for creating packaging with reduced unwanted impacts - areas such as material sourcing, transportation efficiency, and suitability for end-of-life scenarios.
- The GPPS metrics that are useful to track improvements in package design - giving companies the know-how to measure, track progress, and communicate.
- Tools that are helpful to estimate life cycle impacts - identifying hot spots, comparing designs, benchmarking.
- Relevant regulations, case studies, examples, and linkages to other initatives - showing best practices, related work, and further information.