Green Seal is recruiting qualified applicants to join a Sustainable Packaging Stakeholder Advisory Group. We are looking for individuals that can provide technical expertise in packaging design and manufacturing, recycling, or corporate sustainability as we develop criteria for a sustainable packaging program that will recognize leadership among producers of consumable products. Learn more here.
Transitioning to Sustainable Packaging
Manufacturers and consumer goods companies worldwide are prioritizing efforts to minimize single-use packaging, use more sustainable packaging materials, and reduce use of virgin materials after decades of growth. In fact, companies, governments, and other organizations representing more than 20 percent of the plastic packaging market committed to ambitious goals for 2025 to realize a common vision of a circular economy for plastics.
By designing a flexible framework based on industry best practices for recyclability and recycled content, Green Seal can help companies meet their goals and commitments and accelerate the transition to sustainable packaging for consumable products in both the household and commercial markets.
Packaging waste and environmental degradation are urgent and growing challenges. Even though recycling practices are now mainstream, a relatively small amount of packaging is recycled.
In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, packaging and containers comprised more than 28 percent of the solid waste generated in the U.S.
According to the EPA, in 2018 the recycling rates by packaging type were:
- paper/paperboard packaging and containers (80.9%)
- metal containers/packaging (55.7%)
- glass containers (25%)
- plastic containers/packaging (13.6%).
In addition, mixed materials, labels, adhesives, and other attributes may result in packaging that is not recyclable and contaminates the recycling stream.
Sustainable packaging addresses these challenges by using content that would otherwise be wasted, avoiding producing more waste, and requiring packaging to be designed with recyclability in mind.
Green Seal’s Sustainable Packaging Program
Green Seal’s reputation for credibility and market impact rests on an open and transparent process for developing our science-based criteria, following international best practices. Green Seal is actively working with stakeholders and our Consulting Partner, Capgemini, to develop draft criteria for public comment.
Green Seal is currently developing criteria for its Sustainable Packaging Program based on five core principles:
- Packaging recyclability
- Increased recycled content
- Sustainable sourcing
- Restrictions on hazardous chemicals
- Functional performance requirements
With a recognition program for sustainability leadership, Green Seal can play a critical role in driving demand for packaging designed with the core principles in mind, helping to reduce packaging waste and improve the circularity of packaging throughout the economy.