A rigorous life-cycle analysis (LCA) is the packaging industry's key tool for examining the environmental impact of our products. The objective of an LCA is to weigh the trade-off of improvements in one area of the life-cycle against the impact it has in another with the aim of improving overall sustainability.
There are several components of an LCA that lie beyond the responsibility of packaging manufacturers. Here are a few key areas of assessment that growers and shippers need to consider in reducing the sustainability footprint of your packaging.
4 Areas to Assess the Sustainability of Your Packaging
- Optimize the weight and size of a package as it relates to the product it contains
- Right size your packaging to your product ratio by eliminating void space with the package and within the product itself
- Investigate more lightweight sources for packaging materials
- Assess whether updating your package's graphic design could reduce package size
When a package is right-sized to its contents, not only are you reducing raw material waste, you are reducing the fuel required to transport the product, further reducing your carbon footprint.
However, a critical factor to keep in mind when reducing packaging size is how the packaged gets filled in the production process. If you are utilizing automation, you will need to ensure that there is sufficient packaging for the automation process. This will vary based on the product and the process.
While it is critically important to review your packaging structure and design in all the ways shared above, do not completely sacrifice the functional and protective quality of the packaging for the sake of sustainability. A successfully sustainable package performs it’s initial function first and foremost.
For more information about how Fox Packaging's line of flexible packaging solutions is designed to meet your sustainability initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org.