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ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE | How can I opt for sustainable packaging?

For the fourth in our series of blogs on packaging materials we interviewed the Research Centre for Sustainable Packaging (Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken, KIDV). The KIDV (in the Netherlands, with European regulations) advises people on sustainable packaging and inspires companies to make (more) sustainable choices. Nynke Arntzen, packaging expert at the KIDV, explains precisely what sustainable packaging is.

The first three blogs discussed the importance of making sustainable choices and presented a compilation of various packaging materials, with the associated pros and cons. That plastic (preferably recycled) isn't such a bad choice after all came to us as quite a surprise. Making a choice is therefore everything but easy. So, what is sustainable packaging exactly? To make a good choice we have to take several criteria into consideration.

Nynke Arntzen: 'Packaging is sustainable if it does what it should and, in addition to this, makes as little impact as possible on the environment. Its function – to protect a product, for example – is the first criterion to take into consideration. After that, you can look at it from various perspectives to decide what is important for your company.'

‘What do you want to focus on? The KIDV created a model to make the complicated process of choosing sustainable packaging easier. It is called ‘Five criteria for sustainable packaging’ and provides insight into the consequences of your choice,’ explains Arntzen.

Source: KIDV Model: Five perspectives on sustainable packaging®

Not only is the material important; there are also other criteria you should examine, such as:

  • What's the best way to protect my product?
  • Are there any regulations I need to comply with?
  • How will the consumer treat the packaging?
  • How will this packaging be recycled and/or processed after use?

If you make the right choices for your business and customer category based on specific criteria you will arrive at a suitable and proper solution for the sustainable combination of products and packaging.

Next time: Getting started with sustainable packaging!

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