Guide

Design packaging to reduce environmental impacts

Sourcing sustainable raw materials for your packaging

The raw materials and energy that you use are key components of more environmentally friendly packaging design. You should use renewable resources where possible so that you don't deplete increasingly scarce raw materials.

Wood and paper for packaging

If you require virgin wood fibre, ask your suppliers whether their board comes from fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests. Many forests in Europe now have full certification that states they comply with recognised standards of sustainable management.

Look for suppliers that subscribe to the recognised international standards governed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme provides a framework endorsement programme which also has a set of standards that apply to national forest certification schemes.

You can show that you are using products with fibre sourced from a managed forest by ensuring that they have a 'chain of custody' certificate. This enables you and your customers to trace each stage that the fibre has moved through.

Biopolymers for packaging

Biopolymers are polymers derived from biomass. If you plan to use biopolymers in packaging, you should carefully check the source of the material.

Energy used to produce packaging

Ensure that the energy used in the production of your packaging is clean and from sustainable sources.

You should also look closely at your production processes to see whether you can reuse any heat that is generated.