Our Sustainable Packaging Solutions
- Analysing compliance, risk and responsibility for responsible sourcing of materials
- Baseline creation and reporting platforms
- Action planning, guidance and options assessments for sustainable material and format choices
This is an unprecedented time in the packaging sector.
Over recent years, the media has been packed with images of floating islands of plastic waste and sea life that has been impacted by packaging in the natural environment. As a result, stakeholders are aligning behind the principles of sustainable packaging solutions and the circular economy.
Developments in Sustainable Packaging
Policy and regulation has been introduced to support eco design, increase recycling, establish formal reuse systems (such as deposit return schemes) and encourage the use of more recycled content. Consumers and charities are demanding less packaging, the ability to readily see on-pack labels that show what can be recycled, and greater transparency about responsible management at end of life. Businesses along the packaging supply chain are responding with R&D programmes that are led by sustainability criteria, and by setting rigorous goals to drive packaging innovation.
And yet, now more than ever, the global pandemic has proven the need for good packaging to protect the products that we use in our every day lives. Fundamentally, any packaging choice must centre on the ability of the format and materials chosen to perform its primary function, that is to get the product to the end user in its best possible condition. After all, in most cases, there is more embedded carbon in the products contained within the packaging, than in the packaging items themselves.
What is a Sustainable Packaging Solution?
Our experience shows that there is still a lot of confusion about what constitutes a sustainable packaging solution. For some the answer is to go plastic free, but for others the focus is on making the right decisions to align with carbon or other sustainability goals. In many instances, messages about the sustainability credentials of packaging products are confusing and analysis about what might constitute a good substitution can be hard to come by. Balancing commercial decisions about unit costs with reputational risk and product availability, customer demand and product protection can be a minefield.
As more and more organisations are looking to set goals for sustainable plastic solutions, including recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging and reduction of packaging portfolios at primary, secondary and tertiary levels; navigating the confusion of information to support decisive action is something that benefits from third party specialist experience.
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The explosion of interest in plastic and plastic packaging since the Blue Planet series has resulted in significant work for our teams. We are uniquely positioned with deep-technical expertise along the polymer supply chain; from our colleagues in Sustainable Chemistry to our Packaging Technologist and Policy and Advisory subject matter experts.
How we help organisations to tackle plastic packaging:
We’re increasingly asked about the best or most sustainable packaging materials and formats. There are no easy answers, but our Lifecycle Assessment Tools (LCAs) and our team of analytical specialists have developed a comparative approach which allows packaging providers and purchasers alike to be able to understand the carbon or GHG impacts of choosing one packaging option over another.
We offer services to explore the best sustainable packaging materials to utilise:
Packaging regulations, such as extended producer responsibility, are being implemented globally at country and state level. To help businesses to understand the implications for their forward planning and to evaluate the impacts of their sustainability-driven packaging choices on compliance obligations we have established a suite of tools and services. Our team has also used our expertise to advise materials and industry trade bodies and policy makers. Our approach includes:
Our Approach to Modelling and CBA of materials:
Key clients that utilise our sustainable packaging solutions services, include:
- Packaging and products manufacturers
- Retailers and e-commerce
- The hospitality sector (food to go, hotels, catering companies etc.)
- The pharmaceutical industry
- The waste sector, collectors and reprocessors of secondary commodities
- Investors in the plastics and packaging supply chains
- Charitable organisations
- Voluntary industry collaborations
By combining our deeply scientific and technical understanding of sustainability with brand design agency 1HQ’s global team of design specialists, we provide the market with an end to end service offering for sustainable packaging design.
Sustainable Innovation Roadmapping:
For many brands and businesses, sustainable packaging innovation is a journey to embark on where the ultimate ambition may not be achievable in the short term. Here we can help brands define their sustainable packaging strategy and the steps to realise their ambitions.
Providing end-to-end services for sustainable packaging design, through:
Product Stewardship for AkzoNobel
AkzoNobel commissioned Anthesis to undertake research into current practices and opportunities for more sustainable and circular management of their waste paint and containers.
Conducted across key European markets, the research helped support the development of a strategy for leading the industry in the management of post-consumer paint and container waste.
AkzoNobel was then able to highlight current and future potential risks to the business, which helped to engage senior level decision makers.
We provide end-of-life solutions to support clients to achieve circularity in their packaging and product supply chains. These include:
- Implementation of product take-back programs
- Reuse/disposal routes for difficult to handle materials e.g. flexible packaging
- Compositional and operational waste audits
- Trials for end use of materials
- Best practice guidance
- Recycling and waste policies
Since 2014 we’ve been facilitating and supporting the Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG), a unique voluntary collaboration that brings together over 40 organisations from across the value chain from manufacturers to retailers and the recycling sector. This group has delivered substantial change in the market place, through a series of ambitious programmes of work which collectively deliver on the Group’s manifesto to increase recycling collections and infrastructure across the UK.