New AMERIPEN brochure tackles packaging and products

The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) urges the packaging industry to think more broadly about the role that packaging plays in the total system that it supports in developing strategies and programs to reduce waste. 

Rather than focusing on packaging weight reductions, AMERIPEN promotes a more comprehensive approach that considers the combined economic, environmental and social impacts of both packages and the products they contain.

In support of this approach AMERIPEN has published a brochure Enhancing the sustainability of products and packaging which can be downloaded free of charge from the organisation’s website.

“Often the first place companies go when implementing sustainability strategies is to look for ways to reduce packaging,” says president Gail Tavill. “While that seems like an obvious place to start it doesn’t take long to realise that reducing or minimising packaging can actually cost more than it saves. The least sustainable thing we can do is to reduce the performance of the package to the point that it no longer protects the product or fails to deliver the functionality intended by producers and expected by consumers.

“AMERIPEN has taken the position that true sustainability of the system requires us to look beyond the package and to consider the product, the supply chain through which it travels and how well it functions for its ultimate purpose. From this perspective we should be thinking more about goals to optimise packaging, not minimise it.”