Great Packaging Life Cycle Assessment Tips That Will Ensure Product Success

Great Packaging Life Cycle Assessment Tips That Will Ensure Product Success


Adopting sustainable packaging is an excellent turnaround for any business. Sustainable packaging decisions build a robust, easier-to-justify-and-defend position based on research, facts, and statistics.

Assessing the packaging life cycle is instrumental in explaining decision-making and offering metrics-based standards and analyses for sustainable packaging.

The tips outlined below are summarized from an expert’s perspective.

Don’t focus on one packaging component.

Focusing on one component of packaging rather than the complete system can be quite deceptive, and so can focusing on a single LCA indicator such as greenhouse gas (GHG).

Burden shifting is not a new thing. It would be too overwhelming for packaging engineers to take charge of all the packaging work since they could easily optimize the package without considering the effect they would have on another packaging for the safe shipping of the item.

Various indicators may show opposite patterns from an LCA standpoint at times. GHG reductions are usually accomplished for bioplastics, although water usage and eutrophication or aquatic toxicity may increase. Water, pesticides, and fertilizers, which are necessary for crop production, have a negative impact on the three indicators stated above.

Shift to flexible packaging structures.

Further savings frequently support the reductions in the environmental effect of primary packaging in secondary packaging and palletizing efficiency. It is astounding how significant these savings may be, even though flexible packaging is often unrecyclable in standard municipal infrastructure.

Making the size of your package smaller can also provide many benefits beyond just saving material costs. It helps save on storage space as well as make transportation easier.

Consider reducing packaging materials.

It would be a wise decision to create minimal packaging. Ensure that the type of packaging material you choose protects the items while delivering the brand message. Creating a minimal packaging design could even mean the entire removal of some packing components such as secondary packaging, instruction manuals, polybags, etc.

Other than saving money on materials, shrinking container size can bring a variety of other advantages. Saving money on transportation and optimizing rack space can also help. Working with a professional packaging company creates more sound decisions.

Companies have been quick to adopt this since it saves money and delivers the best ROI. Overall, many businesses have been able to minimize material use by 20-50% percent, which is significant for high-volume goods. It may readily justify modifications to filling, tooling, or molds operations.

Understand the tradeoffs.

When making decisions on lowering the environmental effects, you must fully understand the influence this has on the package’s functional and cost needs. It is critical to comprehend the tradeoffs, and all product or packaging engineering concepts are tradeoffs.

Any LCA tool you use should simplify comprehending and making those decisions. As a result, it is critical to understand how adopting a sustainable packaging design affects your palletization, damage rate, shelf life, and cost. EcoImpact – COMPASS and SCORE enable you to tradeoff between your LCA indicators and around 20 other package performance factors.

Not all plastics are bad.

The findings of an LCA when compared to alternative, more sustainable materials are pretty surprising. Packaging made of different materials varies in weight.

What may be considered a ‘poor’ material may be the most sustainable option since it reduces total material consumption, provides greater protection, and allows for more goods to be stacked on a pallet. 

It is important to keep in mind that plastics should be used in a way that preserves their recyclability. Avoid adding dyes, colorants, and additions that may make recycling difficult. Make sure that the consumers can readily separate the components for recycling. 

Don’t stick to the myth that LCAs are time-consuming and costly.

While we may call this a myth now, it is not so farfetched. For around forty or more years that LCA has been used, this has been the case. If a general and adaptable LCA tool is employed, it does need extensive expertise to set up a model to evaluate and then understand the findings.

During the last decade or so, LCA methods such as Elcompact-COMPASS have been developed for specialized sectors such as packaging. A packaging engineer requires around forty-five minutes of instruction to be able to operate this tool. They can then begin examining their packaging and making decisions in twenty minutes, dispelling the myth that LCA is costly and time-consuming. In truth, it is possible to make it economical, accessible, and simple to use. It would be hard to mainstream sustainability on a science-based platform without such software.