CHINA – Companies in the Chinese packaging industry must work together to advance the sustainability message, according to Sealed Air’s vice president of sustainability, Dr Ronald Cotterman.
He gave two reasons why industry organizations and companies need to cooperate with one another: “One is the need for common standards that are consistent and clear, so there is a level playing field and it avoids any confusion and groups can effectively work together taking the same position.
“The second is the scale of the challenge and the work that is involved. It is broader than just one company as it is about the whole supply chain and the value of packaging. We need to raise standards on a global basis, the impact of the population still increasing means there are still opportunities to prevent and reduce food waste.”
Commenting on claims that sustainability was becoming overrated, Dr Cotterman said, “There are plenty of examples of claims that are trivial, mostly around so called green claims, to do with the environmental attributes and this can lead to consumer confusion or distrust. We are mindful of this and it is why we have SmartLife (Sealed Air’s sustainable packaging approach) to help customers and the value chain, understand the packaging decisions made throughout the lifecycle of sustainability.
“Companies are looking for a level playing field with no material bias.”
Dr Cotterman cautioned that the balance between sustainable and protective packaging was a fine one: “It depends on the product use, how it is distributed and the content. It needs to be the right packaging to meet the requirements of the product.
“We know the right amount of protection is critical, if you go too far you end up over packaging, but if you don’t go far enough, the protection may be too little.”