From the Desk of Andrew Macdonald, PAC NEXT Manager
In many ways 2021 was a roller coaster. Nonetheless, PAC Global’s PAC NEXT team was inspired by many organizations’ unwavering commitment to continue their work toward improved packaging sustainability and circularity. As we look ahead to the balance of 2022 and beyond, we ask, “What are key issues we must face together?”
In our previous blog Alan Blake reflected on the 2021 climate change conference, COP26. The connection between packaging and pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change, has never been clearer. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) ‘Completing the Picture’ report says that “putting in place a circular economy is a fundamental step towards achieving climate targets”.
Alongside the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency we must transform our requirements for making, using and disposing of products – including packaging. This points to “upstream” solutions, such as those encouraged by EMF. This approach prioritizes elimination/reduction, reuse, and greatly improved recycling and composting, alongside firm commitments to minimize chemicals of concern.
PAC Global is helping ‘complete the picture’ in several ways. One way is through our ongoing role as an Implementation Partner with the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP). The CPP has endorsed the Consumer Goods Forum Golden Design Rules, on which PAC Global offers ongoing training opportunities. The CPP is also working on better understanding supply and demand for recycled content, and conducting pilots to test new applications, particularly for flexible film packaging.
Along with environmental considerations, sustainability also involves socio-economic concerns. As noted in this summary, the Glasgow conference faced challenges of equity and inclusion, exacerbated by the pressures of COVID-19. PAC Global’s core value around diversity and inclusion underpins our efforts to understand and highlight packaging initiatives that address these topics. Most recently, PAC Global celebrated inclusive opportunities and universal design at our Global Awards event.
Emission reduction targets have been set, but the age-old question is, “How do we reach them?” We hear from PAC Global members all the time: a key part of the answer is collaboration amongst packaging ecosystem stakeholders — which is, of course, easier said than done. PAC Global has a 70 year track record of providing a neutral forum for the packaging community to learn, network, and build genuine collaboration.
PAC Global provides trusted advice and hands-on support for organizations striving toward their sustainability and circularity targets. We encourage you to take advantage of our Education & Training opportunities, the PIP360 online tool to benchmark packaging circularity, and wide-ranging technical expertise offered via our bespoke PAC Consulting services. We look forward to hearing from you!