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Sustainable packaging

The aim of sustainable packaging is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. At the end stage of design it involves increased use of life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment (LCA) to help guide the use of packaging which reduces the environmental impact and ecological footprint, but in the very first steps requires a look at the whole of the supply chain: from basic function, to marketing, and then through to end of life (LCA) and rebirth. The goals are to improve the long term viability and quality of life for humans and the longevity of natural ecosystems. Sustainable packaging must meet the functional and economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is not necessarily and end state but is a continuing process of improvement. According to the European organization for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN), the Sustainability Packaging hinges upon the four key factors, which are presented in our shape.

The burning issue that leads to contradictions and we will examine has to do with the positive or negative contribution of packaging to sustainable consumption and production. What is indeed the optimum amount of packaging? The chart below graphically illustrates where the ‘optimum environmental packaging’ point lies. This is where the environmental impacts of the packaging-product system, including overall wastage/spoilage, are minimized.

As the chart shows, underperforming packaging can lead to much larger negative environmental impacts than ‘over packaging’. Product losses specifically could cause greater adverse effects on the environment than the gains made through packaging reduction. However, the additional resources involved through the increased material content and the related impacts, such as from transport of ‘over packaging’ will also increase the overall environmental impact of the product and packaging.

Therefore the relative equilibrium point at which different considerations align to provide the ‘optimum packaging’ solution lies in the heart of the chart.

Hatzopoulos S.A always having an eco friendly approach on the environmental issues, moves towards this direction and adopts new ways and methods to increase both the effectiveness and the efficiency of flexible packaging and to decrease waste and spoilage. Some major examples are the reclosable packs, the retort films and many other solutions for the overall optimization of the packaging, keeping at the same time all the barrier effects at a high level.