New packaging sustainability checklist released

May 8, 2018

In a press release on May 7, PAC Packaging Consortium announced the release of their "Sustainability Checklist for Structural Package Designers." 


The checklist is part of PAC NEXT, their sustainability initiative that focuses on "A World Without Packaging Waste," and is comprised of input from over 40 team members in different areas of the packaging value chain. It was written for packaging designers with limited knowledge about sustainability to encourage them to make more educated decisions about packaging.


There are six "key elements" of the structural design process that the checklist describes in detail: Sourcing, Reduce & Optimize, Reuse, Recycle, Compost and Communication. Each element is accompanied by rhetorical questions for designers to consider, such as asking if there are extra components to the packaging that are unnecessary or if elements of the package can be reduced. Areas of concern in the design process are also highlighted, such as the consideration that material combinations that are not easily separated affect the recyclability of a package.


Further, the checklist emphasizes the importance of a Circular Economy by providing references and resources for twelve members of the "collaborative team" who comprise five phases of a product's life cycle: Design Phase, Make & Ship Phase, Retail Phase, Consumer Phase and Next Life Phase. This is part of the "PAC Seescape Design" model, which incorporates social, environmental and economic sustainability into its packaging design process.

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