Sustainability is a single word that encompasses complex ideas, actions, and meanings. It suggests longevity and preservation. It refers to programs and initiatives. It applies to the planet earth and the health its resources and all its citizens.
Packaging, particularly single use packaging, has long been targeted as a threat to sustainability and has led consumers, manufacturers, and distributors to seek out ways make packaging more sustainable.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition defines sustainable packaging as “beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle.” It goes on to detail a sustainable life cycle, from sourcing to usage to recovery.
As a distributor and a privately-owned company, Atlantic Packaging has a privileged position to influence each of these areas, from how we source packaging products for our customers, to how we optimize their use, to devising closed loop systems of recovery.
We’ve learned a lot over the years about what it means to be sustainable in each step of this process.
What we’ve learned is that, #1, your packaging has to work. It has to satisfy the basic functions needed to protect your product, convey the intended message, and allow for efficiency in the manufacturing environment. If your packaging doesn’t work and it causes excess waste due to damaged product, then you have the opposite of sustainability.
Once you have a packaging solution that works for your product, then we can work on optimizing the solution so we’re using the least amount of material possible without sacrificing performance.
From there, we can choose the most sustainable materials available that won’t sacrifice performance or optimization.
We believe that these areas of focus can lead to packaging efficiency and reduced packaging overall. In addition, our ability to create closed loop systems for industrial B2B packaging plastic, such as stretch film, and to reduce leakage in which plastic ends up in consumers’ hands can lead to a more circular economy for plastic.
Get more information about Sustainability at Atlantic, including our Sustainability Report and a video series outlining our approach to sustainable packaging.