How to obtain sustainable packaging

Sustainability is one of the aspects that most concerns consumers today, so they demand that companies are governed by processes that are more respectful of the environment.

In this sense, sustainable packaging is a priority for many companies that have already made this qualitative leap and are betting on more ecological techniques. But how do you make packaging sustainable? We explain it below.

Sustainable Packaging Regulations

Different organizations are increasingly promoting the use of ecological packaging in order to reduce its impact on the environment. Therefore, there are different regulations that govern this aspect.

It stipulates measures with the aim of limiting the production of packaging waste and promoting recycling and reuse, as well as other forms of recovery of such waste.

The European Commission encourages this type of regulation and requires all member states to check the packaging placed on the market to ensure that it complies with basic requirements:

  • Limit the weight and volume of containers to a minimum to ensure the necessary level of safety, hygiene and consumer acceptability.
  • Minimize the content of hazardous substances in the packaging material and its elements.
  • Design reusable or recoverable packaging.

On the other hand, there is also the test method EUMOS 40509-2012 that describes a dynamic test method to evaluate the rigidity and safety of a load unit subjected to horizontal accelerations and decelerations, such as those produced during the transport of commercial vehicles on the road.

To pass this test it is necessary to have previously achieved an optimal product + packaging system that consists of characterizing the packaging and the baling and palletizing, thus avoiding under- and over-packing. If this last aspect is not controlled, the consequence would be an increase in waste derived from the excessive use of materials with its consequent environmental impact, in addition to the increase in costs and logistical inefficiency that this implies for companies.

Why it is so important to use eco-friendly packaging

The growing global ecological awareness, both on the part of companies and consumers, is generating a change of paradigm. This is leading the packaging industry to search for sustainable packaging materials to create more environmentally friendly packaging, as well as methods to reduce the amount of packaging without affecting its ability to protect the product.

As a result, most companies today are focused on seeking a balance between three key aspects in this regard: respect for the environment, balance of costs and consumer satisfaction.

Benefits of using environmentally friendly packaging

Both in economic and sustainability terms, achieving optimal packaging is essential for any company that transports its products by road. In 2014, 4% of goods transported by road were damaged due to inadequate packaging systems. This amounted to around 50 billion euros in losses.

Therefore, one of the main benefits of achieving an optimal product + packaging system is to reduce costs due to losses and avoid over-packaging, which results in increased material waste, as well as a strong environmental impact.

Another important benefit of sustainable packaging is safety, since achieving an optimal packaging + packing system allows for increased safety in road transport of goods, since in 2017 25% of registered truck accidents were due to poor cargo securing.

Moreover, betting on the use of ecological packaging will mean for companies to obtain a better brand image, since consumers value very much those companies committed to the environment and their surroundings.

What are the tests for sustainable packaging?

In order to achieve more sustainable primary, secondary and tertiary packaging, some companies in the packaging sector resort to testing their products in order to characterize and optimize them.

For this purpose, various tests can be carried out to measure the properties of paper, cardboard, corrugated board or plastic. The properties that we can measure with testing machines can be physical, surface, mechanical, structural or thermal, among others.

In relation to tertiary packaging, the main test method for achieving more environmentally friendly packaging is the EUMOS method. This allows to get an optimal and safe packaging to be transported, since packing the load with more plastic than necessary, besides being a big cost for the company, has a strong impact on the environment.

But, at the same time, using less packaging than a package needs means that it is more exposed to damage from drops, acceleration/deceleration of the truck or impacts.

In short, sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the packaging sector, so those companies that are not yet committed to the use of sustainable packaging should start thinking about this transition. From Safe Load Testing Technologies we can help companies in this regard, please contact us if you are interested.

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