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Packaging Key to Sustainable Society, EUROPEN Says

Packaging should be seen as an integral part of achieving a resource efficient society, according to a paper by packaging trade body EUROPEN.

Green Paper on Packaging and Sustainability October 2011 sought opinions from stakeholders such as environmental NGOs, the European Commission, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, retailers and retailer trade associations on packaging’s role in a sustainable society.

In the process of developing the paper, participants considered seven key subjects of material selection, packaging design, consumer choice, transport, end-of-life, communication along the value chain and innovative business models.

Participants reached a broad consensus that the packaging value chain needs to adapt to demographic and lifestyle changes by developing strategies to help various market segments achieve resource efficiency, EUROPEN says. For instance, there was broad support of the need for smaller portion sizes and the development of packaging to suit, if a decrease in food waste is to be achieved.

According to a report released last week, growth in the consumer’s emphasis on sustainability in packaging has slowed.

2011 Sustainability in Packaging, from Packaging Digest and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, found that eight percent of respondents believe that the consumer’s emphasis on sustainability in packaging has declined in the past year.

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