The following actions, individually or collectively, will contribute to achieving the outcomes of reducing the environment impacts of flexible packaging thru substitution to more sustainable forms of packaging.
Available Courses of Action
- Action 1 – Adopt Certified Compostable Packaging
- Action 2 – Adopt Biobased Packaging (including papers) that enable recyclability
Action 1 – Adopt Certified Compostable Packaging
The adoption of certified compostable packaging can reduce the environmental impacts of packaging, notably when the packaging is typically not recycled due to the presence of food waste. In those instances, compostable packaging can increase the redirection of food waste while avoiding undue contamination of industrial composting systems. In instances where packaging applications are likely to result in food waste or food cuttings, certified compostable packaging is worthy of consideration.
The following use case(s) provide examples of where the adoption of certified compostable packaging has been demonstrated for flexible packaging.
Action 2 – Adopt Biobased Packaging (including papers) that enable recyclability
The adoption of biobased packaging, including papers, can result in more recyclable or sustainable packaging solutions than some commonly used packaging forms. In instances where non-recyclable plastic packaging can be replaced with alternatively recyclable materials, notably papers, the adoption of such biobased options should be considered. A key consideration when exploring biobased options is the overall life cycle impact of substituting to biobased packaging, notably any changes in greenhouse gas emissions and net overall carbon footprint.
The following use case(s) provide examples of where the adoption of biobased packaging has been demonstrated for flexible packaging.
Useful resources to consider as you explore applying one or more of the above actions to flexible packaging include:
Sustainable Flexible Packaging
- APR Design Guide (https://plasticsrecycling.org/pe-film-design-guidance)
- WPO Design Guide https://worldpackaging.org/Uploads/2021-10/ResourcePDF37_1635406572.pdf)
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation Site on Flexible Packaging: Executive Summary and Deep Dives.
- CPP flexibles guide (est. Spring 2023)