Viewpoints on sustainable consumer packaging

Katriina Matilainen, Elina Rusko, Henna Sundqvist, Mika Vähä-Nissi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

Abstract

While packaging clearly contributes to sustainability by limiting food waste and product loss, it still requires the use of natural resources and has a direct impact on the environment. Therefore, it is important to think how the packaging should be designed to fulfill its main functions in the most sustainable way possible. In addition to environmental perspective, also social and economic impacts should be considered. Eco-design approach, based on product and packaging life cycle thinking, is in the key role. The actors at the end of the value chain (brand owners, retailers, consumers) have the most power in making packaging chain more sustainable. While increasing number of consumers is willing to incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions, more sustainable packaging solutions and better communication and education are still required. When using sustainability as a marketing attribute, the origin has to be in the real corporate responsibility instead of green washing. Active collaboration throughout the packaging value chain (from material developers and manufacturers to packaging suppliers, brand owners, retailers, consumers and recyclers) and government is vital for driving the sustainability and creating continuously new innovative solutions. In order to produce added value for every actor in the chain, an information-intensive, co-operation based value creation model should be exploited. This paper will discuss the drivers, importance of the collaboration along the value chain and possible technological means towards sustainable packaging. Challenges and opportunities faced when aiming at truly sustainable consumer packaging are highlighted throughout the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference
PublisherDEStech Publications Inc.
Pages278-295
ISBN (Print)978-1-60595-084-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference - San Luis Obispo, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201221 Jun 2012

Conference

Conference18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference
CountryUnited States
CitySan Luis Obispo
Period17/06/1221/06/12

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Keywords

  • communication
  • eco-design
  • packaging
  • sustainability
  • value chain

Cite this

Matilainen, K., Rusko, E., Sundqvist, H., & Vähä-Nissi, M. (2012). Viewpoints on sustainable consumer packaging. In 18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference (pp. 278-295). DEStech Publications Inc..