Delivering the Sustainability Information You Need
Resources on Sustainable Packaging
Through ongoing research and initiatives, FPA provides a greater understanding of the environmental advantages and benefits of flexible packaging among consumer product companies, retailers and consumers. We have collected many of our flexible packaging sustainability resources and sources on this page for your convenience.
Brochures and Case Studies
E-commerce Life Cycle Assessment Case Studies
For the “Sustainability Life Cycle and Economic Impacts of Flexible Packaging in E-commerce” report, five different Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) case studies were developed using the EcoImpact-COMPASS® LCA software, which allows for quick life cycle comparisons between different package formats. The case studies were developed to quantify the environmental impact of different flexible and non-flexible e-commerce packaging options, as well as the economic shipping impacts, based on dimensional weight charges vs. actual weight. FPA also developed a fact sheet for a quick overview of the key takeaways.
- Peanut Butter Packaging
- Cereal Packaging
- Shoe Packaging
- Laundry Detergent Packaging
- E-commerce Mailer
- Dimensional Weight and Economics Comparisons for E-commerce
- Flexible Packaging Offers Significant Sustainability Benefits for E-commerce Applications (fact sheet)
- Flexible Packaging Provides Sustainable Solutions for E-Commerce Applications (brochure)
Life Cycle Assessment Case Studies
For the "A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World" report, six different Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) case studies were developed using the EcoImpact-COMPASS® LCA software, which allows for quick life cycle comparisons between different package formats. The results from the case studies show that flexible packaging has more preferable environmental attributes for carbon impact, fossil fuel usage, water usage, product-to-package ratio, as well as material to landfill, when compared to other package formats.
Glenroy Streamlined Life Cycle Assessment of STANDCAP vs. Rigid Plastics Case Studies
Glenroy, Inc. commissioned PTIS, LLC to create LCA case studies and a report with descriptions on key environmental indicators comparing the premade STANDCAP Pouch to rigid package equivalents across a range of product categories including sauces, condiments, and personal care. FPA partnered with Glenroy to produce fact sheets that summarize the key findings of each LCA case study in keeping with previous and future LCA case studies that FPA has done with PTIS.
Life Cycle Assessments Case Studies Brochure
FPA's brochure, Sustain the World: The Case for Flexible Packaging, presents all six LCA case studies in abbreviated form, each of which evaluates common packaging formats for their environmental impacts with a cradle-to-grave boundary. The products used in the case studies span multiple market segments, including coffee, motor oil, baby food, laundry detergent, cat litter, and juice.
Research and Reports
A Flexible Packaging Path to a Circular Economy: Flexible Packaging Sustainability Roadmap
FPA's newest report, A Flexible Packaging Path to a Circular Economy: Flexible Packaging Sustainability Roadmap, explores the future of sustainability and flexible packaging through 2030. It provides information, knowledge, and insights related to flexible packaging and sustainability, circular economy, legislative trends, impacts to the industry along with key outcomes, and actions to enable the industry to align with circular economy principles where materials are collected, sorted, processed, and turned back into new products or packaging.
- Roadmap: Moving Toward a Circular Economy via Packaging Collection
- Roadmap: Moving Toward a Circular Economy via Packaging Design
- Roadmap: Moving Toward a Circular Economy via Packaging End Markets
- Roadmap: Moving Toward a Circular Economy via Packaging Reprocessing
- Roadmap: Moving Toward a Circular Economy via Packaging Sortation
Sustainability Life Cycle and Economic Impacts of Flexible Packaging in E-commerce
FPA's report, Sustainability Life Cycle and Economic Impacts of Flexible Packaging in E-commerce, provides a holistic view of the sustainability benefits that flexible packaging offers in e-commerce and to quantify the environmental and economic shipping impacts comparing flexible packaging to other formats across a range of products.
A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World
FPA's report, A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World, focuses on the sustainability benefits that flexible packaging offers and provides foresight into future sustainability implications for flexible packaging.
A fact sheet was also developed to help summarize the key findings from the report.
The Future of Flexible Packaging Infographic summarizes the future of flexible packaging and shows future opportunities for flexible packaging through e-commerce, innovation, and sustainability trends.
Perspectives on the Meaning of Sustainability in Flexible Packaging
The 2018 Flexible Packaging Sustainability Study: Perspectives on the Meaning of Sustainability in Flexible Packaging, explores how flexible packaging lends itself to brand owners’ ability to establish a reputation for environmental stewardship. G&S Business Communications (G&S) was commissioned by FPA to conduct the study.
FPA Members can DOWNLOAD THE REPORT.
To help communicate the study's findings, FPA offers:
Food Waste Reduction
FPA studies conclude that flexible packaging reduces food waste if a ‘systems approach’ of looking at both product and packaging is developed, quantifying the scientific evidence of flexible food packaging systems.
Materials Management provides the opportunity for recovery of the energy that is contained in flexible packaging. Learn more about this emerging option for end-of-packaging life through the resources below.
- MATERIALS RECOVERY FOR THE FUTURE (MRFF) COLLABORATIVE
- U.S. EPA MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE REPORT, NOVEMBER 2020
- COMPARISON OF PLASTICS-TO-FUEL AND PETROCHEMISTRY MANUFACTURING EMISSIONS TO COMMON MANUFACTURING EMISSIONS
- WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, THE NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY: RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF PLASTICS REPORT, JANUARY 2016
Hefty® EnergyBag® Program
The Hefty® EnergyBag® program is a groundbreaking initiative that collects hard to recycle plastics — like the candy wrappers and juice pouches you've always thrown away — at curbside and converts them into useful resources. The program is a significant step towards achieving positive long-term environmental and economic advantages, including new alternative energy resources and fewer tons of plastics ending up in landfills.
FPA Member Sustainability
Initiatives & Activities
The flexible packaging industry continues to develop flexible packages that are sustainable and safe for the environment. Many of FPA's members are at the forefront of the sustainable packaging movement.
FTC Green Guides
The Federal Trade Commission issued revised Green Guides that are designed to help marketers ensure that the claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful and non-deceptive.
SPI Resin Codes
SPI introduced the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system in 1988 at the urging of recyclers around the country. The code offers a consistent, uniform system to identify the plastic resin used in a manufactured article.
FPA'S Press Room
FPA's Sustainable Packaging News covers recent publications and updates in the sustainable efforts of flexible packaging while Trends in Packaging keeps you apprised of packaging trends that positively impact the environment, consumers and businesses.
Dow Jones Sustainability IndexThe Dow Jones Sustainability World Index was launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmark. The DJSI family is offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM Indices and S&P Dow Jones Indices, and tracks the stock performance of the world's leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices.
Alliance to End Plastic WasteThe Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) is made up of nearly thirty major global companies. They have committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to develop, deploy and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote post-use solutions.
Ellen MacArthur New Plastic EconomyThe New Plastics Economy is an initiative to build momentum towards a plastics system that works. Applying the principles of the circular economy, it brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, governments, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens.
Trucost’s Plastics and Sustainability: A Valuation of Environmental Benefits, Costs, and Opportunities for Continuous Improvement ReportThe study finds the environmental cost of using plastics in consumer goods and packaging is nearly four times less than it would be if plastics were replaced with alternative materials. The study is based on natural capital accounting methods, which measure and value environmental impacts— such as consumption of natural water and emissions to air, land and water—which are not typically factored into traditional financial accounting.