Sustainability and Packaging by suchenfz

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									Sustainability and Packaging

             Chandler Slavin,
             Dordan Mfg.
What is Sustainable
    In a perfect world…

   According to the SPC, Sustainable Packaging:
    –   Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities
        throughout its life cycle;
    –   Meets market criteria for both performance and cost;
    –   Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable
    –   Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best
    –   Is made from materials healthy in all probable end of life scenarios;
    –   Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy;
    –   Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial
        closed loop cycles.
In reality…

   In my opinion, today there is no such thing as a truly
    sustainable package; all commodities consume
    energy and emit GHG equivalents during production.
   While paper comes from trees and plastic fossil fuel,
    both utilize natural resources as their feedstock; both
    consume energy during their procurement and
    conversion; and, both emit chemicals into the
    atmosphere throughout their lifecycle.
So what’s all this jazz about

   According to the WWF‘s Living Planet
    Report, which is a biannual analysis of the
    carrying capacity of the globe compared with
    resource consumption, our current
    approaches to production and consumption
    are not sustainable:
    –   Population x Consumption > Planet

   We estimate that current demand for the Earth‘s
    resources is 1.25 times what scientists believe
    our planet can sustain. And by the way, that‘s
    with 6 billion people, not the 9 billion world
    population predicted by mid-century.
   Put another way, according to the findings in our
    Living Planet Index, on September 25 of this
    year our resource use surpassed what is
    sustainable. What this would mean as a financial
    issue is that we are living off our principle; as a
    farmer it means we are eating our seed.
We need to use less and produce more
from less…
What does this mean for packaging?

   Because of the contemporary anxiety over
    our depleting resources, single-use,
    disposable packaging has been targeted as
    a manifestation of our over-consumptive
   Think bag bans, bottle bills, PS bans and the
The “Green” Consumer

   Market research shows that consumers will buy a
    product/package with a ―green‖ presence over a
    product/package that is perceived to have a negative
    impact on the social and ecological environments.
   While most surveys indicate consumers are willing to
    pay more for ―green‖ products, this is often not the
   Therefore, it has been concluded that if at a
    comparable cost and performance, consumers will
    buy the ―green‖ product/package over the
    product/package not identifying with ―green‖ values.
What’s important for you

   Because of these cultural shifts and the changing
    landscape of the packaging industry, it is important
    for you as packaging professionals to understand the
    various dimensions of ―sustainability‖ as it pertains to
   By understanding these issues, you will be able to
    make more informed packaging choices, which will
    resonate with your customer and end consumer.
Presentation Overview, Part I

   How to measure ―Sustainability:‖
    –   LCA and LCI
    –   Sustainability Metrics
    –   COMPASS
            Go Phone package redesign
    –   Walmart Scorecard
            Direct and Indirect suppliers
            Scorecard metrics
            Scorecard completion
            SVN Scorecard discussion
How to measure sustainability,

   Walmart Supplier Assessment
   P&G Scorecard
   Global Packaging Project
   Consumer Goods Forum
   Sustainability Index
Presentation Overview, Part II

   Traditional packaging materials sustainability
    –   Energy consumption
    –   GHG emissions
    –   Water and biotic consumption
    –   Global warming
    –   Deforestation
Presentation Overview, Part III

   Waste management of traditional packaging
    –   MSW, US EPA 2007
    –   Generation and recovery rates, US EPA 2008
    –   Recycling initiative
Presentation Overview, Part IV

   Environmental labeling guidelines for
    –   FTC, EPI
    –   Greenwashing, Walmart Expo,
    –   Dos and don‘ts of green claims
    –   Recyclability claims
    –   Bio/oxo/photo degradability claims
    –   Comparative claims
Presentation Overview, Part V

   Extended producer responsibility/product
    –   EPR and packaging
    –   Who does it affect?
    –   What you should do about it
    –   How to avoid high EPR fees
    –   What you should require from your suppliers
    –   The advantage of the domestic supplier
Presentation Overview, Part VI

   Bio-based polymers sustainability
    –   Sustainable sourcing
    –   Complete biodegradation
    –   End-of-life management
    –   Energy requirements/GHG emissions of
        production vs. traditional resins
Part I: How to measure “Sustainability”

   LCA stands for life cycle analysis, which is a
    popular approach to understanding the
    environmental profiles of products and
   LCA considers the entire life cycle of a
    product or service, from its procurement to
    conversion, manufacture, distribution, and
    end of life.

   If one wanted to perform a LCA of a product
    or service, one would need at least three
    different LCI data sets, which stands for life
    cycle inventory data. These data sets would
    be averaged to determine the metrics used
    for the product or service LCA.
   LCI data is primary data that is collected for a
    specific product or service.
LCI, example

   If Dordan wanted to measure the environmental
    requirements of its manufacturing facility in order to
    contribute to the metrics used in LCAs for material
    converters, Dordan would have to collect data about
    its operating processes, such as the energy
    requirements of manufacturing and distributing its
   This data would be consider LCI data, and would be
    used in the development of metrics for performing
    LCA of thermoforming operations.
Sustainable Metrics

   The LCI data collected for the performance of LCAs
    of a product or service are based on sustainability
   Metrics are the various environmental indicators
    considered in LCAs that help measure sustainability.
   These include, but are not limited to, greenhouse
    gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption, water
    consumption, biotic consumption, aquatic toxicity,
    eutrophication, etc.
COMPASS, overview

   COMPASS is a life-cycle based, environmental modeling
    software that allows you to compare the environmental
    performances of different packages, based on material
    selection and packaging weight.
   COMPASS contains life cycle inventory data from raw material
    sourcing, primary packaging material manufacture, conversion,
    and end-of-life.
   Transportation and purchased electricity within these phases is
    also included.
   In addition, COMPASS includes end-of-life probabilities for
    waste scenarios such as recycling, waste-to-energy
    incineration, landfill, composting, and litter.

   This tool uses LCI data in order to create the
    metrics used to perform LCAs.
   If no LCI data has been collected about a
    certain material or service i.e. RPET, then
    one can not perform an LCA of said material
    or service.
COMPASS example, introduction

   Dordan uses COMPASS to run
    environmental comparisons between
    different packaging materials and designs.
   One instance in which Dordan used
    COMPASS to illustrate the environmental
    improvements of a package redesign is the
    Go Phone package comparison.
Old Go Phone package
Redesign approach

   Redesign package to achieve a smaller
    product-to-package ratio;
   Reduce the gauge of the clamshell from
    0.030" to 0.025" and the inner tray from
    0.045" to 0.035;"
   Change the clamshell from convex to flat,
    thereby eliminating the snap-on lid.
New Go Phone package
Go Phone package redesign savings

   29% cost savings compared to previous package;
   For the same amount of product sold, reduced the
    total packaging weight by 25%;
   Reduced C02 emissions by 25%;
   Reduced total usage of packaging, saving
    transportation costs and energy use;
   The slimmer design allows for more products per
    pallet and an increased number of units per foot of
    retail space.
See the difference?
The proof is in the pudding…

COMPASS packaging comparison results:

   In short, COMPASS can be utilized in the following
    –   Allows packaging engineers to compare the environmental
        impacts of their package designs using a life cycle
    –   Helps engineers make more informed material selections
        and design decisions early in the development process.
    –   Allows Marketing teams to articulate packaging
        improvements, which should resonate with customers and
        the end consumer.
    –   Allows Sales teams to ―reverse-engineer‖ competitors
        packages in order to show how package can be improved to
        yield a better environmental profile.
Questions about COMPASS as a tool
for measuring sustainability?
Retailers and measuring sustainability,

   Many retailers are investigating the different tools
    available for measuring sustainability, for both
    products and packages.
   Examples include:
    –   Walmart Scorecard and Supplier Sustainability Assessment
    –   Global Packaging Project
    –   Consumer Goods Forum
    –   P&G Scorecard
    –   Sustainability Index
Walmart Scorecard, introduction

   Like COMPASS, the Walmart Scorecard uses
    available LCI data sets to perform LCAs of different
    packages, based on material and packaging
   ECRM created the software for the Walmart
    Scorecard, which stands for ―Efficient collaborative
    retail marketing.‖
   Based on the environmental profile of one‘s
    package, suppliers receive Scores, which conveys
    a packages assumed ―sustainability.‖
   Scores for packaging only; based on ITEM level.
Scorecard and suppliers

   Direct suppliers to Walmart are required to
    enter their packaging information into the
    Scorecard software via ―retail link,‖ which is
    per vendor number and item number.
   Indirect suppliers are encouraged to
    subscribe to the Walmart Packaging
    Modeling Software, which uses the metrics of
    the Scorecard to perform LCAs of different
Scorecard metrics

   Metrics considered:
    –   Material type
    –   material weight
    –   material distance
    –   packaging efficiency.
   Material distance considers the point the
    package travels from point of conversion to
    point of fulfillment.
Scorecard completion

   The Walmart Scorecard is a constantly evolving
   Each item sold in Walmart has its own number.
    Suppliers are required to fill out a Score for each
    item number. Currently, completion of Scores is the
    easiest way to influence purchasing decisions.
   Scores are based on comparisons with others in
    your product category i.e. dairy.
   As more companies submit their Scores, your
    Score is likely to change, depending on your
    competitor's performance.
SVN meeting, Scorecard discussion

       ―Sustainable Material metric?‖
    –     What does a ―sustainable material‖ mean?
    –     Until clarified, should everyone get the same Score?
    –     Should we remove the metric?
    –     Is Recovery taken into consideration?
    –     Is it a LCA based approach?
    –     Does it consider conversion or primary production?
    –     What about toxics?
    –     Sourcing certificates?
SVN meeting, Scorecard discussion,

   SVN determined that it would be helpful to
    have a health and safety metric AND a
    sustainable sourcing metric, which together
    would be blanketed under the metric
    ―sustainable material.‖
    SVN Questions

   Add an ink/laminate metric?
    –   Only if proof is provided that argues that such a metric is
   International manufacturing vs. domestic metric?
    –   Had considered a point of origin because overseas
        manufacturing has different environmental profiles than
        domestic manufacturing i.e. labor laws, environmental
        regulations, etc.; however, unable to quantify at this time.
    –   It maybe considered in the future.
Walmart Scorecard questions?
Walmart, Supplier Sustainability

   Consists of 15 questions, which are asked
    of all product suppliers to Walmart.
   ―Scores‖ based on CORPORATE level.
Global Packaging Project

   Walmart funds this but is not the only CPG
    company on the board;
   GPP looks for a GLOBAL metric for
    assessing the sustainability of packages and
   This is bigger than the Scorecard, as the
    Scorecard will be one component utilized in
    the metrics.
GPP, continued

   The GPP metrics look to take into account
    the Scorecard metrics, COMPASS, the
    SPC‘s Sustainable Packaging Metrics, and
    other existing and legitimate metrics.
   If one wants the inclusion of another metric
    i.e. sustainable sourcing, it must be reviewed
    for application prior to being incorporated into
    the GPP metrics.
Consumer Good Forum

   The GPP grew out of the CGF, which was
    originally called the Global CEO Forum.
   The relationship between the CGF and GPP
    has yet to be determined.
P&G Scorecard

   Release in May 2010;
   This tool is designed to help suppliers meet
    sustainability targets, for both packaging and
   It utilizes existing data sets to determine the
    ―sustainability‖ of a product, package, or
Sustainability Index

   The assessment is part of the Sustainability
    Index, which is a project of the
    Sustainability Consortium.
   Walmart funds this organization but is not
    the only CPGs company that participates.
   Ambiguous organization and role;
   Assumed to provide metrics to GPP.
Retailers, organizations, tools and

   It has yet to be determined what the
    governance will be over the different tools to
    measure sustainability i.e. Walmart
    Scorecard vs. P&G Scorecard vs.
    COMPASS, etc.
   It has yet to be determined what the
    governance will be over the different
    organizations i.e. GPP vs. CGF vs.
    Sustainability Index.
Questions on how to measure
Part II: Packaging Materials
Sustainability Profiles, introduction

   Different packaging materials have different
    environmental requirements, based on their
    feedstock and procurement.
   It is important to acknowledge that no
    packaging material is ―the‖ sustainable
    packaging material; each has its advantages
    and disadvantages in the context of
    environmental considerations.
Packaging materials and energy

   Each packaging material type consumes
    energy during its procurement and
   Packaging materials of focus: paper and
Graph analysis

   This graph represents the energy (million
    Btus) consumed per 1,000 lbs of plastic
   The average energy consumed for the
    production of 1,000 lbs of plastic is: 9.94
    million Btus.
Graph analysis

   This graph represents the energy (million
    Btus) consumed per 1,000 lbs of material
   The total energy consumed in the production
    of 1,000 lbs of fiber-based packaging is 8.96
    million Btus.
Energy requirements comparison,
paper and plastic

   These graphs illustrates that while plastic is
    made from fossil fuel and paper is made from
    trees, the energy required to produce the two
    packaging materials is comparable.
   This is because the energy-intensive three-
    step process pulp undergoes in its
    conversion to paper.
Embedded energy of plastics

   If plastic and paper have similar energy consumption
    requirements for production, why is plastic targeted
    as a waste of our fossil fuel and paper seen as the
    environmentally friendly alternative?
   Because most of the energy consumed in resin
    production (around 88%) is embedded in the
    material itself, available for recovery post-consumer
    via waste-to-energy (hereafter, WTE).
Graph analysis

   This graph illustrates the energy (million
    Btus) embedded per 1,000 lbs of plastic
    material, which is available for recovery via
Plastics and incineration, misc.

   According to the journal of Resources, Conservation and
    Recycling, ―Polyolefins commonly used in [plastic] packaging
    can generate twice as much energy as coal and almost as
    much energy as fuel oil. When plastics are processed in
    modern WTE facilities, they can help other waste combust
    more completely, leaving less ash for disposal.‖
   Moreover, because there are 114 WTE facilities operating in
    the U.S. today, generating enough energy to meet the power
    needs of 1.2 million homes plastic packaging should not be
    viewed as a wasteful consumption of fossil fuel but as a viable
    form of energy available for latter recovery.
Plastic and energy, misc.

   in a recent Franklin Associates Ltd. study that
    analyzed the carrying capacity ratios of different
    packaging materials, it was determined that plastic
    has a value of 34 and paper 6.9. This means that 34
    ounces of juice could be carried in 1 ounce of plastic
    and 6.9 ounces could be carried in 1 ounce of paper.
   The study also found that by using plastic packaging,
    product manufactures save enough energy each
    year to power a city of 1 million homes for roughly
    3.5 years.
Plastics and energy, summary

   The energy required to produce plastic is comparable with that
    of paper production.
   Most of the energy consumed in its production of plastic is
    embedded in the resin itself, available for later recovery.
   The density of plastic allows for lighter and therefore less
    shipments, thereby saving energy in production, conversion
    and transportation.
   The carrying capacity of plastic allows for less material
    consumed for the same packaging application, therefore
    reducing the volume of packaging waste and the overall energy
Questions on packaging materials and
Packaging materials and GHG
emissions, introduction and data

   As with energy consumption of production,
    different packaging materials release
    different amounts of GHG equivalents.
   Due to proprietary data sets, I am unable to
    perform an ―apples-to-apples‖ comparison
    between paper and plastic in regard to GHG
    generated per 1,000 lbs of material
Graph analysis

   This graph represents how many thousand
    GHG equivalents are generated per 1,000
    lbs of material produced.
Fiber-based packaging production,

   The production of fiber-based packaging
    materials is broken down into three
    –   The pulping process, achieved through chemical
        or kraft pulping;
    –   the bleaching process;
    –   and, the paper making process.
Processes emissions

   Overall, the pulping processes are the
    sector‘s primary source of air emissions and
    water discharges of pollutants.
   The bleaching process, however, generates
    chlorinated byproducts—chloroform, dioxins,
    furans—that pose particular environmental
    concern for their persistence,
    bioaccumulatability, and toxicity.
Paper Laminates and VOCs

   It is also important to note that coated and
    laminated paper products, like those found in
    many packaging applications, are associated
    with significant reporting of releases and
    other waste management TRI chemicals;
    including emissions of volatile organic
    compounds (hereafter, VOCs) and
    discharges of wastewater containing
    solvents, colorants and other contaminants.
Blue: Air emissions
Red: Water discharges
Graph analysis

   This graph represents the total air and water
    emissions generated during pulp and paper
    production in the United States in 1996.
   This report is the most recent Toxics Release
    Inventory Report released by the US EPA.
Graph analysis

   This graph illustrates the total production
    related waste generated in pulp and paper
    production in 1996 in the US.
Fiber-based packaging production

   Taken together, the U.S. pulp and paper
    industry (SIC Code 26) generated
    1,599,797,509 lbs of production-related
    waste in 1996 i.e. air emissions, water
    discharges, etc.
GHG emissions and Global Warming

   According to the 2009 report released by the U.S.
    Global Change Research Program, the largest factor
    contributing to global warming is increased
    greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide,
    methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, halocarbons,
    soot, etc.; deforestation, agricultural practices and
    irrigation also have greatly contributed.
   Climate change will most dramatically stress water
    resources, and crop and livestock production will be
    increasingly challenged.
Fiber-based packaging production and
water consumption

   As the USGCRP report indicates, water scarcity will become an
    increasingly challenging problem with the elevation of the
    global climate. According to the EPA’s ―Toxics Release
    Inventory Data for the Pulp and Paper Industries,‖ the pulp and
    paper sector is the country‘s largest industrial process water
   Therefore, because the production of paper from wood requires
    large amounts of water and steam, marketing paper as more
    environmentally ―friendly‖ than plastic is without ecological merit
    when considered in the context of global warming because of
    the value of water for economic and human sustainment and
    the extensive water requirements for pulp and paper
Fiber-based packaging, deforestation
and global warming

   As the USGCRP report explains,
    deforestation is a leading contributor to the
    increased emission of greenhouse gases; as
    such, the emphasis on paper as the
    sustainable packaging material needs to take
    into account the greenhouse gases emitted
    during deforestation and the extensive
    consumption of our natural resources.
Fiber-based packaging production and

   The US Forest Service estimates that the sustainable
    production of timber on all the land under its jurisdiction is
    about 550 pounds per acre per annum.
   Packaging grade paper requires about 1.1 to 1.2 pounds of
    wood per pound of paper or about 500 pounds of paper per
   To produce the required 82 billion pounds of paper needed
    to replace all plastic packaging would therefore need an
    additional 162 million acres of forestland developed to
    paper production.
   To put this in perspective, this is the area of six US states
    the size of Tennessee.
    Paper production, emissions and
    consumption summary

   Paper packaging production requires deforestation, which contributes
    to greenhouse gas emissions and consumes high concentrations of
    biotic and mineral resources.
   The pulp and paper sector consumes more water than any other
    industry. This is a problem as water becomes increasingly scarce with
    the elevating global temperature.
   Paper production releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the
   Paper production releases high concentrations of VOCs into our water
    and land, contributing to aquatic toxicity and eutrophication.
   Replacing all packaging applications with fiber-based packaging
    materials would require the appropriation of more land for deforestation
    than we currently have access too, therefore increasing the burden of
    packaging on the environment as articulated above.
Questions on packaging materials and
GHG emissions, global warming, and
Part III: Waste management of
packaging materials, introduction

   There are different avenues a packaging
    material may take post-consumer. Some
    materials get landfilled, others are recycled,
    and others still are incinerated with waste-to-
Municipal Solid Waste, material type
    Container and Packaging MSW Data, 2007 (U.S. EPA 2008)

                       St eel


                                                             Paper & Paperboard
                                                             Plast ic
     15%                                                     Glass
                                        Paper & Paperboard
                                                             St eel

            Plast ic
Graph analysis

   This graph illustrates the amount of
    packaging material that ended up in a landfill
    in the U.S. in 2007.
   Paper is the largest contributor to the landfill,
    comprising 52% of our MSW.
MSW: Generation and recovery

Blue: Generation
Red: Recovery
Graph analysis

   This graph illustrates the amount (millions of
    tons) of packaging material generated in the
    US in 2008 AND the amount recovered post-
   While paper has the highest generation of
    the packaging material types, it also has the
    highest recovery.
   However, this recovery is attributed mostly to
    newspapers and corrugated boxes.
“Paper” packaging recovery rates,

   Paperboard packaging/other paper
    packaging recovery= Neg.?
Recyclable vs. recycled?

   Anything is theoretically recyclable if the
    collecting, sorting, and processing
    technology exist and if there is an end
    market for this material.
   However, few material/packaging types are
    actually recycled in America due to the
    economics governing recycling.
Example of recyclable vs. recycled:
Dordan’s clamshell recycling initiative

   Currently, thermoform packaging is not recycled in
    American, although theoretically it can be recycled.
   A material/package is considered ―recycled‖ if >60%
    of American communities have access to recycling
    facilities that process said material/package.
   We have been trying to find a way to recycle our
    clamshell packages for several months now. I have a
    blog, which narrates our day-to-day attempts to
    integrate thermoforms into the existing recycling
Recycling initiative

   I am the co-lead of the PET subcommittee of
    Walmart-Canada‘s Material Optimization
    Committee. Hopefully I can help them reach
    their goal of zero waste for PET packaging
    post-consumer, both bottle-grade and
    thermo-grade. If Canada can do it, so can
     Approach to recycling initiative, # 1

   Integrate our RPET thermoforms into the existing
    PET bottle recycling infrastructure:
    –   Sent 50 of our RPET clamshells to the MRF to run
        through their optical sorting technology to see if our
        clams are ―read‖ like PET bottles. If so, then the issue of
        integrating RPET clams into the bottle recycling
        infrastructure has nothing to do with sorting technology.
    –   Test found that their was no optical difference between
        our RPET clams and PET bottles.
    Recycling initiative, # 1, continued

–   What this means is that If our RPET clams were
    accepted for recycling with PET bottles, when they
    would move down the line they would be sorted with
    PET bottles and baled together for purchase.
–   However, according to WM, even if our RPET clams
    made it into the PET bottle bales, when the bale is
    bought by a reprocessor, they throw away RPET clams.
–   Therefore, it is not WM who determines what materials
    are recycled but those who buy said material post
    consumer for reprocessing.
What’s the deal?

   Buyers of balled PET bottles do not want
    RPET clams in the mix, even if the same
    material, for the following reasons:
    –   ―Look-a-like‖ syndrome, fear of PVC
    –   different IV‘s;
    –   different melting points;
    –   ―fly‖ and ―bale‖ differently due to different shapes
        and sizes.
Problem with initiative

   Like anything, recycling is a business, which
    –   Supply
    –   Demand
    –   Technology
    –   Investment
   While RPET thermoforms can be recycled, they are
    not because limited supply, limited demand, lack of
    technology, and no investment.
Recycling initiative, # 1, pilot

   Dordan is investigating a pilot program whereby they
    would designate a bale at a local WM that would
    accept both PET bottles and RPET clamshells.
   This mixed bale would be purchased by our material
    supplier of RPET, who would grind and extrude the
    mixed bale into thermoformable sheets.
   We would buy this material and test it on our
    machines to see its performance.
Approach to recycling initiative, # 2

   Create a new stream of low-grade, mixed
    rigid plastic packaging, which would either be
    incinerated for energy or recycled into timber
    applications for parks and decks.
   This market exists on the East and West
    coasts where international markets purchase
    our plastic scrap post-consumer for
    incineration or reprocessing.
Questions on the waste management
of packaging materials?
Part III: Green Claims, overview

   The FTC is starting to persecute those
    making unsubstantiated environmental
    claims on packaging.
    Example of “greenwashing”

   According to an FTC statement issued last month, the
    commission issued letters to 78 U.S. retailers and
    manufacturers warning that they may be breaking the law
    by selling textile products that are labeled and advertised
    as ―bamboo,‖ but that actually contained manufactured
   The statement also said the companies have been warned
    against making eco-friendly claims about bamboo fibers—
    which are produced using harsh chemicals that release air
    pollutants, the statement said.
Bamboo greenwashing claims,

   Failure to properly label and advertise these
    products violates the FTC Act and the
    commission‘s Textile Rule, the FTC said.
   Making unsubstantiated green claims has
    real costs.
Example of real cost, California Law

   Any company that advertises its product
    using broad claims of environmental
    friendliness such as ―ecologically sound,‖
    ―environmentally safe,‖ ―green,‖ or any
    similar term must provide written
    documentation supporting such claim to any
    member of the public upon request.
   Failure to do so results in a misdemeanor
    punishable by jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.
Retailers and greenwashing

   Retailers such as Walmart are taking an
    aggressive role at tackling products and
    packages that make unsubstantiated green
5th Annual Walmart Stores, Inc.
Sustainable Packaging Exposition

   EPI audited the environmental claims at the
    Walmart Expo for all packaging vendors.
   EPI audited both the Packaging Success
    Story and the 7Rs handout.
   70% were rejected in the first review.
   All were eventually approved; however, most
    had to dramatically change their marketing
Walmart Expo, green claims

   According to the EPI, the biggest issues
    –   Claims of recyclability;
    –   no proof;
    –   biodegradable/degradable claims;
    –   ambiguous comparative claims.
Anti-greenwashing efforts

   The database for
    packaging suppliers requires documentation
    supporting any environmental claim.
   The database is linked to Walmart‘s
    Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Modeling
EPI’s Six Sins of Greenwashing

   Sin of hidden tradeoff
   Sin of no proof
   Sin of vagueness
   Sin of irrelevance
   Sin of fibbing
   Sin of the lesser of two evils
EPI research

   Study of 1,018 consumer products that make
    environmental claims found that ―all but one
    made claims that are demonstrably false or
    that risk misleading intended audiences.‖
EPI’s Six Virtues of Green Labeling

   Tell the truth;
   use specific claims—do not make broad
    environmental claims i.e. ―green‖ or ―sustainable;‖
   don‘t overstate a product‘s attributes;
   use clear and prominent qualifications;
   have reliable data to back up your claims;
   make sure a consumer can clearly understand the
    meaning behind the claim.
    Recyclable claims

   A basis for the claim i.e. study or survey results of municipal
    recycling facilities, must be stated when making ‗recyclable‘
    claims on packaging that is not traditionally accepted for
    –   You must consider both the material and packaging type i.e. PET
        bottle versus PET clamshell;
    –   You must review what is collected by communities and what is
        accepted at recycling facilities;
    –   Must be available to a substantial majority of consumers or
        communities (60%)
    –   Closed recycling systems are OK if well qualified i.e. in-store plastic
        bag collection programs.
Availability of facilities for recycling

   Recyclable in the US:
    –   Glass bottles and jars (clear, green and brown)
    –   PET bottles with necks (clear, light green and very light
    –   HDPE bottles with necks (all colors, accept black)
    –   Aluminum cans
    –   Steel cans
    –   Newspaper
    –   Corrugate (non-waxed)
    –   Paperboard without ―bling‖ (although EPA data ambiguous)
    –   Paper without ―bling‖
Availability of facilities for recycling

   Not presently recyclable:
    –   Glass (other than clear, light green and very light blue)
    –   PET bottles (other than clear, light green, and very light
    –   All other PET i.e. clamshells, blisters, trays, etc.
    –   HDPE (black and non-bottle HDPE)
    –   All plastic film and bags
    –   Paperboard with ―bling‖
    –   Paper with ―bling‖
    –   Waxed corrugate
    –   Packaging with food contamination
    –   Laminates
Other claims…

   Recycled content claims: specify post-consumer and
    post-industrial; include % values;
   Degradable/biodegradable/photo/oxo: Qualify claim
    with intended disposal environment; include rate and
    extent of degradation.
   Comparative claims: Claims should be sufficiently
    qualified and clear as to what is being compared.
   Use of green dot: Use of green dot is only allowed
    with valid trademark license.
   Claims based on Walmart Scorecard: Specify what
    change altered score and how.
Questions on making green claims?
Extended producer responsibility,

   EPR stands for extended producer responsibility, which
    is a strategy to place a shared responsibility for end-of-
    life product management on the producers, and all
    entities involved in the supply chain, instead of the
    general public; while encouraging product design
    changes that minimize a negative impact on human
    health and the environment at every stage of the
    product‘s life cycle.
   First implemented with the management of electronic
    waste and vehicles, EPR now extends to packaging:
    Today, over 30 countries mandate EPR legislation for
EPR geographical scope

   While EPR legislation has historically been confined
    to member states of the EU due to the
    implementation of the 1994 EU Directive on
    Packaging and Packaging Waste, it is now
    expanding into the American and Canadian markets.
    Accordingly, it is in all producers‘ interests to familiar
    themselves with EPR requirements in order to avoid
    the costs associated with failing to comply with said
EPR legislation, overview

   EPR legislation is composed of three basic
    –   waste management financing;
    –   product design;
    –   and, informational requirements.
EPR and waste management financing

  –   Waste management financing refers to the
      funding of the recovery of electronic and
      packaging waste; producers can therefore choose
      to comply individually or collectively. If chosen to
      comply individually, producers must set up their
      own system for the recovery of electronic and
      packaging waste; if chosen to comply collectively,
      producers must join an organization that assumes
      responsibility for recovering their packaging and
      electronic waste, as in the case with the Fost Plus
      system in Belgium.
EPR and product design

   Product design requirements refer to material restrictions and
    design for recycling/reuse. These design requirements often
    extend to electronics, batteries and packaging .
   An example of a material restriction mandate is the EU RoHS
    Directive, which requires that the materials used in
    packaging/consumer goods/electronics do not contain any
    heavy metals.
   An example of a design for recycling/reuse mandate is the EU
    WEEE Directive, which requires member states to meet targets
    for recycling and/or reuse, thereby granting authority to the
    state to mandate certain design for end of life requirements
    from producers.
EPR and labeling requirements

   EPR legislation often includes a requirement to label
    the product, user manual, and/or packaging to inform
    the consumer that s/he should not place the product
    in the trash but rather drop off the product at a
    designated collection location for separate disposal.
   This extends to packaging, as illustrated through the
    development of various labeling schemes for
    packaging to inform the consumer what to do after
EPR and packaging

   According to Victor Bell, the President of
    Environmental Packaging International, ―The
    centerpiece of the environmental movement
    in Europe is a set of new packaging
    standards being developed; they are called
    the ―Essential Requirements‖ and all
    packages must meet them before they can
    be sold in Europe.‖
Essential requirements, # 1

   Requirements for packaging recoverable through
    –   This standard will require that the person responsible for
        placing the packaging on the market ensure that the design
        of the packaging includes consideration for the recycling of
        the materials from which it is produced and that the
        selection of raw materials used ensure that recycling
        processes are not negatively affected i.e. PVC labels on
        PET containers.
    –   Additionally, this standard will require that the design of the
        packaging is compatible with the available recycling
        technology and that the environmental impact cause by
        recycling is taken into account.
Essential requirements, # 2

   Requirements for packaging recoverable through
    composting and biodegradation B Test scheme and
    evaluation criteria for final acceptance of packaging:
    –   This Standard requires that constituents known to be
        harmful to the environment during biological treatment not
        deliberately introduced into packaging or packaging
    –   The Standard establishes tests and guidelines for
        packaging and packaging materials to be designated as
        organically recoverable.
Essential requirements, # 3

   Requirements for packaging recoverable in
    the form of energy, including specification of
    minimum calorific value:
    –   This Standard defines and specifies the
        requirements for packaging to allow the overall
        optimization of energy recovery.
Essential requirements, # 4

   Reduction of waste (prevention by source
    –   This Standard require that the person responsible
        for placing the packaging on the market
        demonstrate that the minimum adequate amount
        of packaging has been used, taking into account
        the critical functions of the packaging (protection,
        safety, storage, application and marketing).
Essential requirements, # 5

   Reuse:
    –   This Standard outlines the requirements for
        packaging to be deemed to be recoverable.
Essential requirements, # 6

   Requirements for measuring and verifying
    heavy metals present in packaging (CEN
    –   This report addresses the environmental impact
        from heavy metals in packaging after incineration
        or land filling. The report confirms the heavy
        metals limits outlined in the Packaging Directive
        i.e. packaging must contain less than 100 ppm of
        the sum of the concentration levels of lead,
        cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent.
Do I have to meet all 6 Standards?

   As presently structured, all packaging will be
    required to meet the standard for heavy metals and
    other hazardous substances requirements (CEN
   If you claim that your packaging is reusable, than
    you will be required to meet the reuse standard.
   Finally, you will be required to meet at least one of
    the recovery standards (Material, Energy and/or
What to take away from this…

   Taken together, it is important for packagers
    to take the Essential Requirements into
    consideration in the design phase and
    establish a paper trail documenting how each
    standard was incorporated into their
    packaging design protocol.
    Who does EPR laws effect?

   EPR laws affect product producers:
    –   Producers would be defined as either the direct
        manufacturer of a product that sells or distributes in the
        [member state] under its own name or a brand name;
    –   or, an entity that is not a manufacturer but is the owner or
        licensee of a trademark or brand name of a product sold
        or distributed in the [member state] under their own
    –   or, an entity that imports the product into [the member
        state] for sale or distribution.

   ―Producers‖ are not considered ―manufactures‖
    because the term ―manufacturer‖ is too narrow.
   For example, many manufacturers are located
    overseas and work under contract to the brand
    owner. It is the brand owner who makes design and
    marketing decisions; therefore, it is the brand owner
    who is responsible for funding the recovery of their
    products‘ post-consumer packaging waste.

   Also, many retailers are producers because
    they sell products under their own brand.
   Generally, the producer will be the brand
     What should you do about EPR laws?

   In order to comply with EPR requirements, electronic products
    and consumer goods‘ packages must be viewed at the
    component level to ensure that he entire product and package
    complies with the various requirements:
    –   Material Considerations: In order to comply with material restrictions
        (EU RoHS), producers will have to ensure that component
        specifications are written so as to forbid regulated materials and to
        obtain certification from the supply chain.
    –   If the legislation requires producers to design products/packages that
        meet recycling/reuse targets, product/package designers will need to
        consider how to improve recyclability.
What should you do about EPR laws,

   Often times, EPR legislation requires
    companies to submit reports on waste
    generation and product material contents
    [e.g. packaging weight by component].
   In order to ensure compliance and therefore
    pay minimal fees for managing electronic
    and packaging waste, consumer
    goods/electronic producers should collect
    and maintain a bill of materials database.
What you should do about EPR laws,

   Producers should require that their suppliers submit
    third-party certification documenting compliance with
    the relevant standards.
   Examples include a letter of certification from
    material suppliers documenting compliance with the
    EU RoHS Directive.
   It is also helpful to establish a due diligence protocol
    to ensure that all procedures established to enable
    compliance are, in fact, being respected
    How to avoid high EPR fees

   Understand the requirements:
    –   Producers of electronics and those who are responsible for putting
        consumer products‘ packages on the market must understand the
        requirements in the markets in which their products and packages
        are sold.
    –   To do otherwise may result in bad press, fines, and the possibility of
        getting their products and packages banned from the market.
    –   By understanding the waste fees associated with products and
        packages, producers could design product—and require their
        packaging suppliers to design packages—that incur lower fees,
        thereby creating a marketing advantage over those who do not.
How to avoid high EPR fees

   Incorporating waste fees into the cost of
    the product:
    –   There are many fees that producers are now
        required to pay to fund their products‘ and
        packages‘ disposal/recycling at end of life.
    –   Waste fees are associated with EPR legislation
        are real costs.
        How to avoid high EPR fees

   Maintain necessary data points:
    –   EPR mandates place new data demands on the producer of electronic
        goods/those responsible for bringing packaging to the market.
    –   In order to be able to generate reports for electronics, battery and
        packaging waste fee payments and maintain documentation on material
        composition, producers must maintain data on, for example, weight,
        detailed material composition, and component type.
    –    As is seen in Europe, it is recommended that producers develop a
        compliance software tool that aids in complying with these requirements.
    –   An example of this is the Pack.NET software system developed by
        Foresite Systems, which calculates waste fees and generates
        compliance reports for all worldwide electronics, battery and packaging
How to avoid high EPR fees

   EPR fees are often based on product/package type
    or the weight of the product/package.
   Therefore, electronic producers and product
    packagers should design products and packages
    that do not have any heavy metals or hazardous
   Additionally, because fees are dependent on the
    weight of both the product and package, it is
    important to design electronics and packages with
    lightweight and safe materials.
How to avoid high EPR fees

   If the material is classified as laminated you
    pay larger fees.
EPR example, Canada’s Waste
Diversion Act, 2002

   This law says that industry has to pay for
    50% of the net cost for municipalities to run
    their Blue Box program.
   Stewardship Ontario was set up specifically
    to collect that money from industry and give it
    to the municipalities.
Blue Box Program

   The Blue Box Program is similar to our curb-
    side recycling in the States.
   Unlike the States, however, Canadians are
    encouraged to recycle a lot more material.
   The ―designated‖ material types accepted for
    recycling via the Blue Box Program are listed
Material type and fees

   There are different fees for different materials,
    depending on the ease of recovering said material
    post-consumer. In other words, the harder a
    package is to recycle or recover, the higher the
    associated fee will be.
   The fees change every year; here‘s the latest:
Fee analysis

   For example, if you sold a polystyrene
    container into the Canadian market, you
    would be required to pay 24.65 cents per kg.
   However, there are all sorts of
    restrictions/exemptions/etc. so it gets very
What you should require from your
suppliers, overview

   In order to ensure compliance, suppliers
    must understand their obligations and the
    requirements that affect their products and
   they must certify that their products and
    packages will meet these requirements;
   and, they must provide key third-party data
    on their products and packages.
What you should require from your

   Consumer goods companies/ electronic
    producers should obtain the following data
    from their suppliers to ensure compliance:
    –   For the consumer product/electronic good:
            Sales by country and month,
            declared weight and/or volume of the product,
            and the product-to-package ratio.
     What you should require from your
     suppliers, continued

   For the package:
    –   Data by packaging component:
            In most cases, manufactures must be prepared to provide data on
             each specific component of the package, not just the package as a
            Additionally, packagers need to establish a program to obtain
             certification from suppliers to assure that their products comply
             with the EPR requirements.
What you should require from your
suppliers, continued

   For the package, continued:
    –   Primary package material and weight;
    –   Secondary package material and weight;
    –   Transport package, material and weight;
What you should require from your
suppliers, continued

   Material type of primary, secondary and
    transport packages needs to be classified
    into the following:
    –   Plastic by resin type
    –   Paper
    –   Glass
    –   Aluminum
    –   Composite
What you should require from your
suppliers, continued

   Data must be collected in regard to the
    number of uses for the primary, secondary,
    and transport packages: Reusable or
   Data must be collected in regard to the
    percentage of recycled content in the
    primary, secondary, and transport packages.
    –   Distinctions must be made between pre- and
        post- consumer material.
The advantage of domestic suppliers

   Despite the increasing trend toward international
    manufacturers, brand-owners remain legally responsible for
    compliance with EPR legislation.
   Therefore, while it may be cheaper to source product and
    packaging overseas, it is more difficult to ensure compliance
    with EPR requirements because of data gathering obstacles
    and the absence of a due diligence protocol throughout the
    supply chain.
   By sourcing domestically, consumer goods
    companies/electronic producers can have harmonized
    reporting, which will improve compliance, reduce compliance
    costs, reduce paperwork, improve data accuracy, and send a
    clear message to producers on how to improve their packaging
    and products.
The advantage of sourcing direct from
the manufacturer

   Because consumer goods companies are held liable for
    EPR compliance, it is in their interests to source packaging
    direct from the manufacturer in order to ensure that the
    mandates are met and the necessary certifications are
   By sourcing direct, it is easier to attain and maintain the
    data points necessary for EPR compliance i.e. materials
    and weight of package and its components.
   Moreover, sourcing direct allows for better supply chain
    management via the implementation of a due diligence
    protocol and data reporting.
Questions on EPR and packaging?
What is “Biodegradability?”

   Biodegradability is an end of life option that
    allows one to harness the power of
    microorganisms present in a selected
    disposal environment to completely remove
    plastic products designed for biodegradability
    from the environmental compartment via the
    microbial food chain in a timely, safe, and
    efficacious manner.
How “Biodegradation” works:

   Microorganisms utilize carbon product to extract
    chemical energy for their life processes. They do so
    –   Breaking the material (carbohydrates, carbon product) into
        small molecules by secreting enzymes or the environment
        does it.
    –   Transporting the small molecules inside the microorganisms
    –   Oxidizing the small molecules (again inside the cell) to CO2
        and water, and releasing energy that is utilized by the
        microorganism for its life processes in a complex
        biochemical process involving participation of three
        metabolically interrelated processes.
Part IV: Bio-based polymers,

   Designing plastics that can be completely
    consumed by microorganisms present in the
    disposal environment in a short time frame
    can be a safe and environmentally
    responsible approach for the end-of-life
    management of single use, disposable

   When considering any bio-based resin, there
    are some environmental considerations one
    must take into account. These include:
    –   end-of-life management,
    –   complete biodegradation;
    –   its agricultural-based feedstock;
    –   and, the energy required and the greenhouse
        gasses emitted during production.
End-of-life management

   Because biodegradation is an end of life option that
    harnesses microorganisms present in the selected
    disposal environment, one must clearly identify the
    ‗disposal environment‘ when discussing the
    biodegradability of a bio-based resin. Examples
    –   biodegradability under composting conditions;
    –   under soil conditions;
    –   under anaerobic conditions (anaerobic digestors, landfills);
    –   or, marine conditions
Bio-based resins intended disposal

   Most bio-based resins used in packaging
    applications are designed to biodegrade in
    an industrial composting facility and one
    should require some type of certification or
    standard from material suppliers, ensuring
   Available certifications include BPI
    certification or ASTM D6400 certification.
Problems with intended disposal

   Unfortunately, little research has been done
    on how many industrial composting facilities
    exist in the United States and how bio-based
    plastic packaging impacts the integrity of the
   However, the Sustainable Packaging
    Coalition did perform a survey of 40
    composting facilities in the U.S., which
    provides some insight.
SPC’s Composting Survey

   According to their research, 36 of the 40 facilities
    surveyed accept compostable packaging.
   These facilities reported no negative impact of
    including bio-based plastic packaging in the
   Of the 4 facilities that do not accept compostable
    packaging, 3 are taking certain packaging on a pilot
    basis and are considering accepting compostable
    packaging in the future.
   Of the facilities surveyed, 67.5% require some kind
    of certification of compostability.
Industrial Composting Facilities, their

   Because value for composters is found in organic
    waste, I assume most facilities would not accept bio-
    based plastic packaging for non-food applications
    because the lack of associated food waste and
    therefore value.
   As Susan Thoman of Cedar Grove Composting
    articulated in her presentation at the spring SPC
    meeting, composters only want compostable food
    packaging because the associated food waste adds
    value to the compost whereas the compostable
    packaging has no value, positive or negative, to the
    integrity of the compost product.
Likelihood of composting

   Because there are so few industrial composting
    facilities available, the likelihood that your bio-based
    plastic packaging will find its way to its intended end
    of life management environment is rare.
   While the idea of biodegradation and compostability
    for plastic packaging may resonate with consumers,
    the industrial composting infrastructure is in its
    infancy and requires a considerable amount of
    investment in order to develop to the point where it
    would be an effective and economical option to
    manage plastic packaging waste post consumer.
Questions on the end-of-life
consideration of bio-based plastic
Complete biodegradation

   A number of polymers in the market are designed to
    degradable i.e. they fragment into smaller pieces
    and may degrade to residues invisible to the naked
   While it is assumed that the breakdown products will
    eventually biodegrade there is no data to document
    complete biodegradability within a reasonably short
    time period (e.g. a single growing season/one year).
   Hence hydrophobic, high surface area plastic
    residues may migrate into water and other
    compartments of the ecosystem.
Plastic fragments and the environment

   In a recent Science article Thompson et al.
    (2004) reported that plastic debris around the
    globe can erode (degrade) away and end up
    as microscopic granular or fiber-like
    fragments, and these fragments have been
    steadily accumulating in the oceans. Their
    experiments show that marine animals
    consume microscopic bits of plastic, as seen
    in the digestive tract of an amphipod.
Plastic fragments and toxicity

   The Algalita Marine Research Foundation report that
    degraded plastic residues can attract and hold
    hydrophobic elements like PCB and DDT up to one
    million times background levels.
   The PCB‘s and DDT‘s are at background levels in
    soil and diluted our so as to not pose significant risk.
    However, degradable plastic residues with these
    high surface areas concentrate these chemicals,
    resulting in a toxic legacy in a form that may pose
    risks to the environment.
Complete biodegradability, summary

   Designing degradable plastics without
    ensuring that the degraded fragments are
    completely assimilated by the microbial
    populations in the disposal infrastructure in a
    short time period has the potential to harm
    the environment more that if it was not made
    to degrade.
Questions on the complete
biodegradation of bio-based plastic
Agricultural feedstock considerations

   Most commercially available bio-based resins are produced
    from sugar or starch derived from food crops such as corn and
   Over the past few years, the use of food crops to produce
    biofuels has become highly controversial; the same may
    happen with bio-based resins.
   However, this is only if the scale of bio-based polymer
    production grows. According to Telles VP Findlen, ―If the
    bioplastics industry grows to be 10% of the traditional plastics
    industry, then around 100 billion pounds of starch will be
    necessary, and there is no question that that will have an effect
    on agricultural commodities.‖
Feedstock procurement considerations

   Because sugar is the most productive food
    crop, it makes an ideal feedstock for bio-
    based resin production; however, if all Bio-
    PE and Bio-PET came from sugarcane, we
    would need 2.5 times as much land in
    sugarcane. Unfortunately, this can not be
    done sustainably.
Agricultural-based feedstock
considerations, summary

   When considering bio-based resins, one should take
    into consideration the feedstock from which it is
    derived and the various environmental requirements
    that go into procuring said feedstock.
   While the current production of bio-based resins is
    not to scale to compete with sugarcane production
    for food, it is important to understand the
    environmental and social ramifications of sourcing
    materials from agriculturally based products.
Questions on feedstock procurement?
Energy requirements and fossil fuel
consumption of bio-based polymer
production, introduction
   Obviously sourcing plastics from bio-based
    resources as opposed to fossil fuel is an
    intriguing option for those looking to reduce
    the burden of packaging on the environment.
   However, if the energy required to produce
    bio-based plastics exceeds the energy
    consumed in the production of traditional
    resins, then the sustainability profile of bio-
    based plastics can be compromised.
In the old days…

   When bio-based plastics first became
    commercially available, the processing
    technologies were not developed to the point
    where producing plastics from bio-based
    sources consumed less energy than
    producing traditional, fossil-fuel based
Today, things have changed!

   The bio-plastics industry has dramatically evolved
    and is now able to produce certain bio-based resins
    with less energy when compared with traditional
   Natureworks Ingeo PLA (2005), for instance, is
    processed in such a way that it actually consumes
    less energy and emits fewer greenhouse gas
    equivalents during production when compared with
    traditional, fossil-fuel based resins.
LCA study, introduction

   The Institute for Energy and Environmental
    Research (IFEU), Heidelberg, Germany, conducted
    the head-to-head lifecycle comparison on more than
    40 different combinations of clamshell packaging
    made from Ingeo PLA, PET and rPET.
   Both PLA and rPET clamshells outperformed PET
    packaging in terms of lower overall greenhouse gas
    emissions and lower overall energy consumed and
    PLA exceeded rPET in its environmental
LCA study, results

   According to the study, clamshell packaging
    consisting of 100 percent rPET emitted 62.7
    kilograms of C02 equivalents per 1,000 clamshells
    over its complete life cycle.
   PLA clamshells emitted even less, with 61.7
    kilograms C02 equivalents per 1,000 clamshells.
    Energy consumed over the lifecycle for 100 percent
    rPET clamshells was 0.88 GJ.
   This compared to o.72 GJ for the Ingeo 2005 resin,
    which is an 18% reduction in energy consumed.
Bio-based plastics considerations,

   Taken together, one would assume that the 2005 Ingeo PLA is
    a more sustainable option than traditional plastics, as manifest
    through this study.
    However, it is important to take into account the other
    dimensions discussed above, such as end of life management,
    complete biodegradation, and sustainable sourcing.
   By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of bio-
    based resins from an environmental perspective, packaging
    professionals can make informed material selections and truly
    comprehend the ecological ramifications of their packaging
    selections and designs.
Questions on bio-based plastic
In conclusion…

   ―Sustainability‖ as it pertains to packaging
    refers to a multitude of broad and
    complicated issues.
   It is difficult to understand the various
    ramifications of the ―green‖ movement on the
    packaging industry; however, if we do our
    due diligence and research, we will be ahead
    of the curve.
Thanks for listening!

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