As consumers and companies grow more aware of their impact on the environment, several major retailers and brands are moving away from plastic packaging. We see it in the news – Trader Joe’s. ALDI. Tesco.
Many decide that the answer to setting and achieving sustainability goals is to decrease plastic use for packaging or ensuring the plastic is at least recyclable and recycled.
But a recent Supply Chain Dive article, The Realities of Rethinking Plastic Packaging, explores the complicated reality of setting sustainability targets and measuring progress. And the reality is… eliminating plastic isn’t a cure-all.
"We don’t see a world without plastic. We focus on a world without packaging waste in our lands and oceans," Laura Rowell, global sustainability manager of consumer packaging at Sonoco Products, told Supply Chain Dive.
Rowell goes on to explain how we work with the customer to develop a sustainability plan tailored to their product, their goals, and where they can most impact their environmental footprint – factoring in variables from beginning to end of the supply chain, from what materials go into a package and how they’re sourced, to carbon footprint during shipping, to retail and food waste, to recyclability and other end of life concerns.
"I’ve never seen a perfect environmental package," Rowell said. "By living, we impact the environment." The goal is to impact the environment the least amount possible.