Efficient Packaging Products
- January 01, 2016 -
In an ideal world, we could reduce waste through efficient packaging that simply uses less material. In the real world, about 90% of the environmental impact of a product and its package is related to product manufacture and distribution, and only 10% is related to package production and material uses.*
How Efficient Packaging Helps the Environment
A 2012 poll by Dow and Packaging World shows that over half the industry professionals surveyed believe that sustainability will be the top factor driving the packaging industry over the next decade, replacing cost concerns. However, reducing packaging alone in order to improve sustainability may not be the optimal solution for both financial and environmental reasons.
Looking at the bigger picture of environmental costs, the impact of using less packaging can quickly vanish if it damages a product. If packaging — be it for fruit juice or high-end electronics — is too light or brittle, the entire product could be lost, which is a preventable waste.
Efficient packaging, optimized for all factors, actually prevents wasteful damage to products and minimizes much larger economic and environmental costs.
Considerations for Efficient Packaging
To create more efficient packaging, manufacturers and designers have to balance effectiveness with environmental issues. Packaging has to not only protect products, but also minimize their environmental footprint. Questions to answer include:
What is the economic and environmental value of a product?
What economic and environmental costs would be incurred if the product is damaged?
How can packaging protect the product, without excess costs to the company and the planet?
Dow works with packaging designers, machinery manufacturers, converters and brand owners to create more efficient packaging, matching materials with products and processes.
Online Assessment Tools
We offer a range of modeling and simulation tools to help take the guesswork out of optimization and make it easier to create efficient packaging.
The Dow Sealant Selector
This tool allows users to quickly assess a range of sealant choices and find matching materials for specific applications.
The Dow Sealant Value Estimator (SaVE)
This tool allows users to calculate and compare total packaging costs of alternative materials. It makes a more complete analysis possible by including other major components that vary according to the sealant used, such as filling-line costs, rewraps, off-machine losses, and in-store package failures.
Downgauging and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
This tool lets packaging engineers investigate options in downgauging films. It can calculate costs of materials, as well as perform life cycle analysis to compare sustainability factors, such as energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Contact your Dow representative for more information.
Personal Service and Support
Dow has packaging optimization experts in markets around the world, supported by laboratories and testing facilities that can provide support from design through development and production of efficient packaging solutions.
*Sources: INCPEN and AMERIPEN