Plastic packaging: leaner and meaner
Reducing packaging obviously entails using less packaging, but it can also mean designing lighter and thinner packaging that uses fewer materials. This reduction at source aims to achieve the minimum necessary and sufficient volume and/or weight of the various types of packaging, which also leads to reducing their impact on the environment. Plastic packaging manufacturers' R&D departments include the dimension of prevention at all steps of a packaging's design in order to reduce its weight, change its form and volume, choose the right materials, etc.
And after 20 years, it can be said that plastic packaging has lost a considerable amount of weight!
A 1.5l bottle of water used to weigh 40 grams and now weighs only 25 grams, a 38% decrease in weight.
Vegetable packaging has also slimmed down, losing 82% of its weight over the course of 20 years, going from 20 grams to 3.5 grams. The same happened for ready meal trays which are now 40% lighter, and 20l containers which went from 1.2 kg to 850 grams.
Mineral water plastic bottle caps also went on a drastic diet, losing 42% of their weight in 20 years, going from 3.1 grams to 1.8 grams!
The reduction of packaging weight is the first axis of eco-design that also requires a product's end of life, and therefore recycling, to be taken into account.
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