Industry mulls global benchmarking for packaging waste

Major retailers and manufacturers from around the world have drawn up a set of metrics that can be used to assess how sustainable packaging on any given product might be.

International trade body, the Consumer Good’s Forum, is keen to establish a way of assessing the environmental impact of packaging and the associated waste that’s applicable globally, whether a product is packaged in Poland or Pennsylvania, Britain or Banglasdesh.

There was recognition that inconsistency in the supply chain meant that measures intended to improve packaging’s environmental performance was leading to unnecessary complexity, added cost and suboptimal environmental, economic and social results.

Members of the forum’s Global Packaging Project met in Toronto last week where they agreed an outline of what these standards might look like and to launch pilot projects to gauge how they might work in the real world.

“Sustainability is a shared responsibility,” said Roger Zellner, GPP Co-Chair and director of sustainability,

research, development & quality of Kraft Foods “By creating a common language and identifying shared

global industry metrics this initiative will enable manufacturers and retailers to work together to develop

packaging solutions to help achieve agreed sustainability goals.”

Co-chair and head of packaging as Tesco, Sonia Raja, said: “The Global Packaging Project started because retailers and manufacturers wanted a consistent approach to packaging of consumer goods.

“We need to find a common way of measuring environmental and sustainability improvements on packaging that can be used across the world.”

Pilots will take place around the world over the next six months and the forum plans to agree a final set of metrics in November.

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie