Packaging News:
Survey: Sustainability, Cost Challenge Global Packaging Industry

WILMINGTON, Del., May 12, 2011 – Nearly 40 percent of respondents identified sustainability issues as the top challenge facing the packaging industry, according to DuPont’s global survey of consumer packaged goods companies and packaging converters.  This was followed closely by 33 percent who named cost issues.

Top Challenges Facing the Global Packaging Industry (bar chart)

Top Challenges Facing the Global Packaging Industry
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Where Most Sustainable Packaging Efforts are Directed (bar chart)

Where Most Sustainable Packaging Efforts are Directed
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Nearly 500 packaging professionals around the world responded to the open-ended question, citing these two issues twice as often as any other challenge.

“These results demonstrate that improved sustainability – cost-effective solutions to improve packaging’s environmental footprint – is a top goal across geographies,” said Shanna Moore, former global director, sustainability – DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.  “We’ve made great strides on the journey by closely collaborating with customers to put DuPont’s packaging portfolio and global development network to work on science-powered innovations to help tackle those tough demands.” 

The Many Faces of Sustainability

Meeting sustainability challenges requires multiple strategies, according to the closed-end survey results.  Of those respondents working specifically on sustainable packaging, 65 percent say their efforts are focused on: design for recyclability or use of recycled content; 57 percent are focused on weight reduction; 41 percent rely on renewable or bio-based materials and 25 percent say they are focused on compostable materials.

“Clearly there is no single solution to improving sustainability, but collaboration is the catalyst that sparks innovation,” Moore added.  DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers offers a growing portfolio of offerings to support these efforts to achieve sustainability improvements.

  • DuPont™ Biomax® Strong modifier is designed to encourage widespread use of bio-based PLA products by enhancing performance attributes, including processibility, durability, impact strength, flexibility and heat resistance, simply by making them less brittle and less prone to making a crinkly noise in film applications.

  • DuPont™ Biomax® PTT resin, with up to 35 percent renewably sourced content, can help differentiate cosmetic packaging and other parts where polyesters are used by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and net production of greenhouse gases without compromising performance.

  • New solvent-free lidding sealant, DuPont™ Appeel® 22D843 resin, helps ensure sustainability in convenience features by replacing solvent-based lacquer, which requires an energy-intensive recovery process.  Appeel® for lidding structures or sealant layers in retortable polypropylene (PP) packages also helps protect the contents by ensuring sealing integrity.

  • DuPont™ Fusabond® is used as a compatibilizer to bond dissimilar polymers in the recycling process.  It was recently honored in a prestigious South American 2010 Premio ECO Award in the Sustainability in Products category for its role in a closed-loop recycling process for agrochemical multilayer bottles.

  • DuPont™ Surlyn® ionomer offers the kind of high-end performance characteristics that help eliminate the need for thicker layers of lower-performing resins in packaging structures to reduce the total amount of material for sustainability improvements and reduced total packaging cost.  Last year, in Europe alone, switching from polyethylene resin to higher-performing DuPont™ Surlyn® ionomer resin eliminated several hundred tons of non-renewable packaging raw materials and reduced that packaging’s carbon footprint 20 percent.

To identify the top issue facing the packaging industry, DuPont conducted an on-line survey of packaging professionals in March 2011.  Of the nearly 500 professionals responding to the open-ended question, 41 percent were from the United States, 44 percent from China and 15 percent from the rest of the world.  Of the 200 professionals responding to the closed-ended question, 70 percent were from the United States and 30 percent were from the rest of the world.

 

DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers manufactures an extensive mix of adhesive, barrier, peelable lidding and sealant resins and provides a globally networked development team to work with customers on packaging programs that help protect the product, environment, improve shelf appeal, convenience and reduce cost in the food, cosmetics, medical products and other consumer goods and industrial packaging industries.

DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment.  The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.