Packaging Waste- What Consumer Products Manufacturers Can Do


The mantra for packaging waste is reduce, reuse and recycle. The EPA on its web site has the following statements.

In most parts of the developed world, packaging constitutes as much as one-third of the non-industrial solid waste stream. As the developing world races to raise living standards, more countries are seeing significant growth in their packaging waste. At least 28 countries currently have laws designed to encourage reduced packaging and greater recycling of packaging discards. Many of these countries require manufacturers to take back packaging discards or pay for their recycling.”

“Packaging can be made more sustainable by applying the principles of product stewardship. This means:

  • Eliminating toxic constituents
  • Using less material
  • Making packaging more reusable
  • Using more recycled content
  • Making it more readily recyclable”

We would like to add a fourth recommendation to the reduce, reuse and recycle mantra: substitution. At Package Machinery, when we look at packaging, we know our best help is in the reduce or substitution category. Unfortunately we have not found a good way to help our customers or their consumers reuse film or paper wrap or recycle material that has no instructions on it. We feel fortunate that wrapping material tends to be light weight and so a very small portion of the waste stream.

12 Item bundle wrap

12 Item bundle wrap

This leads us to substitution. Both flowwrapping and shrink wrapping use significantly more material than overwrap and shrink wrap uses far more energy. These are known facts. What is forgotten is that overwrap is a strong wrap and can be used to bundle wrap. It can replace chipboard and corrugate boxes under many circumstances. In these cases substitution leads to reduction in material use with the added virtue of using less film or energy that shrink wrap bundling.

Please call us at 413.732.4000 or email to discuss your requirements.


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