Packaging Future Direction
In recent years, the number of countries to propose environmental packaging
regulation has increased significantly. The core ideas behind Extended
Producer Responsibility (EPR) have grown in popularity, especially in
Central and Eastern Europe. With the addition of 10 new EU member states,
new packaging requirements are expected to emerge in the near future. Asia
has also been a hotbed of regulatory activity, achieving some of the most
complex packaging design requirements, with more on the way. It is important
for producers to stay informed on new packaging developments and to
incorporate them into package engineering to guarantee success and
compliance in the future.
The implementation of a packaging development protocol will ensure
compliance, and will also highlight opportunities for reduction of packaging
waste, fees, and environmental impact. A packaging development protocol is
one way for companies to establish a process for taking into account the
Essential Requirements, material and recyclability issues, and fee
structures during packaging design (or incorporate these considerations into
their existing processes).
Every possible attempt should be made to reduce packaging (or omit
unnecessary packaging components) and to create resource efficient
packaging, paying special attention to material and design choices. By
including certification and environmental checks in the design approval
process, the protocol can also form the basis for documentation of
compliance and a packaging "due diligence" program. In other
words, a successful and responsible producer not only remains well-informed
about international packaging requirements, but also strives to apply them
in all packaging design decisions.
In the midst of such far-reaching and varied regulation, packaging
engineers retain control over the design of their products. Proactive
awareness of worldwide packaging design and fee requirements proves to be
beneficial in the long term. In many cases, adherence to the requirements
through innovative effort not only ensures worldwide compliance, but
provides an opportunity for environmental improvement and cost savings.