Save Money, Improve Sustainability with Packaging

by | Dec 4, 2013

Choosing the right packaging material can save money and improve sustainability metrics, writes David Moszak, a sourcing lead in the global packaging practice at Procurian, in a Packaging Digest article.

Moszak identifies three sustainable packaging material ideas that can improve price stability for resin-based packaging — without hurting appearance:

  1. Sustainable Calcium Carbonate Additives: Add renewable calcium carbonate (CC), which is produced naturally in some bodies of water, to plastic packaging. The formation process sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere; additionally, naturally occurring CC additives cost less than resin and offer more price stability.
  2. Bio-Based Thermoplastics: Bio-based thermoplastics help the environment because they are produced from plant-based CO2 sequestering feedstocks. These bioplastics also improve price stability compared to petroleum-based products that are subject to oil market price volatility.
  3. Biodegradable/Compostable Packaging: Three green resin technologies can improve biodegradation or allow for the resin to be composted. These include polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic, made from corn starch; oxo-degradable plastic additives, which act as a catalyst to speed up the natural degradation process; and biodegradable plastic additives, which speed up degradation and can be used in most thermoplastics.

The first step a business should take when implementing a sustainable packaging initiative is determining the objective that its packaging is seeking to attain, according to a white paper published last month by sustainability software and consulting firm PE International.

Despite the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s recognized definition of sustainable packaging being nearly a decade old, companies still struggle with identifying which of the many sustainability metrics to make into key performance indicators, according to Five Steps to Sustainable Packaging.


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