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Packaging Policy Update for 2020

Sustainability and the environment are becoming very important within the packaging industry.

A material-neutral trade association for the packaging industry, AMERIPEN, has spoken out about what it will be looking for in 2020: Its new policy will focus on the environment. 

This will have an effect on all products, packaging, and even labels, as the concern for the environment and being sustainable continues to grow.  

This concern has grown over the past few years due to the large amounts of plastic being found in the oceans. Most household’s recycling is made up of plastic packaging, and because of the waste being created, this has pushed many companies to pledge to produce plastic packaging that is 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable by the year 2025. 

This process is a difficult one, as the value of recycling has gone down, and many states have created their own bills regarding packaging. Some are banning certain materials, others are clashing with one another, and some are introducing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This means that the producer of the plastic is responsible for collecting and recycling its materials (i.e. – providing container deposits all over the nation).

packaging policy, trends, recycling

Now, there have been more federal bills passed regarding packaging policies, which are helping the different states with the collaboration of their individual efforts. Even with attempts to work together and recycle, there are still problems – such as, how to fund the recycling process, since global commodity prices for recycled material have dropped so substantially. 

AMERIPEN has concluded that these obstacles mean that each tier of the packaging value chain will most likely need different resources, finances, and guidelines. They are continuing to evaluate the different options of recycling, such as more recycling carts, having meetings with stakeholders about finances & options, and even discussing possible recycling tax incentives. Since there are so many different aspects of packaging and sustainability to tackle (ocean debris, non-recyclable plastic, harmful/toxic chemicals etc.), there is talk of creating a business model for domestic recycling. It will then, ideally, be a more streamlined process; matching resources, policy goals, and financing to the best model to meet that system’s needs. There would be an overall guide with measurable steps and goals, yet it would still have sections catered to different problems and tiers on the value chain.  

Overall, 2020 will be a year of continuing to move forward in sustainable packaging efforts. This has come so far from when some areas banned plastic bags & straws, to now, where many companies are looking to switch to recyclable labels as well!

*We will continue to update on the innovations within the industry on this topic throughout the year. 

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*photo credit for Plastic in the Ocean to www.greenmatters.com

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