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European study confirms what we already know--enough already--green is here to stay!

Nine countries across Europe confirm that there is a “big move” to sustainable packaging solutions. Why is this even news any more?

Actually, the article, taken from Emballage Digest’s website, is a little more interesting than the cliché headline. Like the audience development manager of Ebony Magazine told me, we’d put Obama on every cover if we could, he sells magazines. Packaging writers know the same is true for sustainability—the number one subject searched every month on Packworld.com.

Much of the environmentally sensitive packaging solutions revolve around thin walling blow molded containers to reduce plastic content while engineering in some stability.

“This is partly met in the trend towards lower weight, as discussed at the October 2009 AMI conference on Thin Wall Packaging held in Cologne, Germany. Jon Nash of AMI described typical applications: yoghurt, cheese, cream, fresh produce, bakery, yellow fats, ready meals, sandwiches, pet foods, frozen foods, etc. Dairy is the largest sector at almost 25% and chilled meals are among the fastest growing areas. PP and PS dominate, followed by PET and PVC with a small percentage of other materials.”

AMI says there is a move from metal and glass to plastic for food. Are there any stats to back this up? Because what I find often is one type of material supplier going after the other guys, and they all seem to have a story, if you look at it their way.

This, I believe, is the single largest factor responsible for all the static in the sustainable market. Why can’t we agree glass, plastic and metal all have a place in the equation, depending on the application?

And can we all agree to stop saying sustainability is a big movement, or is here to stay? Let’s continue to share real life case histories-- where the packager looked at all the option--and examine what they did and why.

It’s like the Kurt Vonnegut novel about the famous school of painters, the abstract expressionists, working on Long Island and in New York City in the 40’s and 50’s like Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko.

A blonde bimbo complains to one of the artists she never knows if a painting is good or bad.

The artist answers, “look at a million paintings, you’ll know.”

Share those case histories. You’ll know a good idea when you see it.

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