Report offers guidance for packaging makers
By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling
The international Consumer Goods Forum has announced the Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability report, which offers a series of common tools and resources for companies looking to green their packaging.
The report covers energy use, manufacturing techniques and raw materials use, but pays closest attention to life-cycle analysis for different types of packaging – including primary product packaging, industrial packaging, shipping materials and others. The new protocols are also notable in what they say about conventional wisdom for packaging, specifically that lowering the packaging weight does not necessarily have a positive environmental benefit if it negatively impacts the recyclability of the packaging. The report urges a comprehensive assessment of a variety of factors, such as carbon emissions, recyclability, weight, material use, water use, etc. in order to accurately assess their sustainability. The report also encourages the adoption of ISO 14021 standards when defining pre-consumer and post-consumer waste.
The protocols were designed by a working group consisting of various retailers and manufacturers, including Walmart, Tesco, Target, Kraft, Nestle, Unilever and others.