Don't you think it is kind of weird? People have never heard of packaging, recycling, or waste management as much as today.
In another hand , packaging is the easiest way to communicate sustainability.
However, although we are aware of the need to avoid unnecessary packaging & go for more sustainable materials, it is still difficult to be sure of the right solutions, why?
FB/ twitter/insta/youtube “experts” delivering their own expertise …
Plastic is bad !
Plastic is good !
Reuse is the best solution !
Recycle is the best solution!
Packaging is useful or useless depending on opinion and perception! It’s a little bit like for the vaccine: people “believe or not” in what should be done… Belief has nothing to do with it. Somehow, science really does not care if we believe or not.
It’s the same for packaging: there are technical and scientific facts for choosing the adequate raw material versus another:
- Product protection
- Climate change impact
- Water footprint
In 2021, Poor message continues to mislead consumers:
- "I am not a plastic" when packaging looks like a plastic and is made with a polymer (which is technically a plastic).
- "I am 100 % biodegradable", this does not mean that it is degradable in soil or in water. (In France it is now forbidden to use the word biodegradable)
- so many labels and claims: " recyclable" or "100% recyclable"? what does it mean when it is 80 % recyclable? can it be recycled it or not?
- in addition, packaging waste sorting rules differ from one place to another!
In addition, there is a huge time lag between industrial implementation and material or process #innovation time: Does Material innovation move so fast, that it makes last year option obsolete? What is the current situation?
New household waste #sorting rules
New design guidelines, new recycling guideline
New EPR and new #regulations & taxes
New #biobased materials (photo : Piñatex® is made of ﬁbre from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant)
New Barrier mono-materials made of PP or PE
How to solve the problem?
1- At the country or European level, alignment is necessary with all stakeholders in the value chain to implement sustainable and responsible packaging.
2- At the company level, alignment within all functions is necessary to implement the best options and packaging expertise is needed as well as knowledge about upcoming regulations.
3- At the product level: packaging solutions are not equal and need effective evaluation taking into consideration many parameters (eg. experience, end of life, sourcing...).
4- At the communication level, be clear, understandable, and not subjective to avoid misinterpretation.
Use unbiased expertise, not perception, to make the right environmental choice enabling a real impact for planet and humans. At the right packaging, we have the right experts to facilitate this process.