Sustainable packaging is gaining momentum

Sustainable packaging is an area that has gained momentum in recent years as companies within this industry look to where and how they can find increased efficiencies while creating less waste.

Nestor Coronado Palma, Sustainability Director, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, is a speaker at the marcus evans Future Packaging conference taking place in Amsterdam next week.

She outlines the role that the move towards sustainable packaging can play in counterbalancing the effects of mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal that characterises modern living.

“Packaging can be fully sustainable if the right materials are chosen since the very beginning. What I mean is that the purpose of the packaging needs to be defined together with the value proposition at the start of any development and depending on this, the structure and therefore material can be chosen. For example, packaging can be re-used and therefore serve as a second product; or packaging can be made out of fully recycled material, recyclable material and/or from certified renewable sources.

A perceptible shift in attitude to the “throw-away culture” that has existed for so long is clearly underway, she maintains.

“Consumer insights show that no packaging for some consumers is possible. You see as well that people re-use their bags when going to the supermarket. Moreover, people would like to get into their just bought new product immediately, without the hassle of going through layers of packaging.”

The impression that going green increases a manufacturer’s cost, that will inevitably be passed on to the consumer is an area that still needs to be tackled, according to Palma.We are in a phase on new material introduction and a change in mindset, therefore some economies of scale still need to be reached. On the other hand, we need to improve our recycling schemes and practices, where if properly done, value still available while closing the material loop.”

The marcus evans Future Packaging conference takes place in Amsterdam on 21-22 October.