PKSC 3680 Lecture 4: Sustainability and Biopolymers

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Sustainability and Biopolymers
Definition for sustainable packaging
o Sustainable package is defined as that which
Is safe and healthy for individuals and communities
throughout its life cycle
Meets market criteria for performance and cost
Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using
renewable energy
Maximizes the use of renewable or recycled source
materials
Is manufactured using clean production technologies and
best practices
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 cradle to cradle cycles
Life cycle
o The concept of a package or product’s life cycle incorporates all
aspects of that product or package from birth to grave to
rebirth, or the idea of cradle to cradle
o Life cycle analysis studies can be used to evaluate the potential
environmental effects of packaging options
o It is quantitative determination of the resource and energy use,
and environmental burdens of a given product or process over
its entire life cycle
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Growing tress use water and air, cutting uses fossil fuels,
taking it to factories for all the other processes of creating
paper and hopefully its rebirth into something else as well
o Life cycle analysis
Includes indirect effects of packaging on environment such
as the mining of raw materials, energy and emissions
resulting from transportation, energy and emissions
associated with the production of electricity
These added indirect effects often add up to a substantial
added environmental burden of the product
Sustainability
o Sustainability, as it relates to packaging, encompasses the ideas
that packages are design to promote economic and
environmental health
The idea is that it will be fiscally healthy and financially it
will make you money
Also shows you care about how the packages impact the
world
Beneficial, safe, and healthy packaging
o The global packaging industry is conservatively estimated at
US$417 billion and employs more than five million people all
over the world
o The benefits of packaging to individuals and communities vary,
but are clearly established
o However, the procurement, production, transport, and disposal
of packaging can have negative consequences for both the
environment and societies around the globe
Meets market criteria for performance and cost
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o Therefore, intelligent packaging and system design is imperative
to minimize the negative impact of packaging on the
environment and societies
o No package design, industry, or nation is sustainable if it does
not promote economic growth and prosperity
o Thus, sustainable development must be profitable
o Sustainable packaging initiatives offer multiple strategies to
meet and even exceed market criteria for performance and cost,
including:
Improved package design
Resource optimization
Enhanced material selection
Source reduction
Education of business colleagues, suppliers, consumers,
and regulators is also an important way to connect a
sustainable packaging strategy to existing market needs
Renewable energy
o In short term, fossil-fuel based systems as efficient as possible is
an effective strategy for moving towards sustainability with very
real economic and environmental returns
What we can do now while we are trying to find new ways
to create energy, make the fossil fuel systems now more
environmentally friendly and sustainable
o At the same time, however, there must be a dedicated effort to
diversify the energy mix and build momentum behind the
transition to renewable energy
o Not only do packaging materials themselves consume fossil
fuels, but transportation is a significant source of fossil fuel
consumption
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