According to consumer protection organisations, companies have to pay more attention to educating consumers about the criteria and performance of sustainable packaging. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
Eco Design: there is more to it
In former days those wearing Birkenstock sandals could be assigned to a special ecologically oriented group of society. They were usually found at anti-nuclear demonstrations or self-knowledge seminars. Today, even Hollywood stars wear the comfy footwear and not only pay attention to mental hygiene but are also selflessly devoted to the fate of our planet. A consideration for ecological processes and requirements in industry is just as modern and popular as these foot-flattering cork shoes.
Environment-friendly design must also find its place in attention-grabbing advertising on the retail shelf – said various recycling specialists at the Forum Eco Design. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
The importance of product protection
So-called eco design, however, has so far only found its way into the public debate in the context of recycling. Here environmentally compatible design plays a crucial role already while packaging is being used – and not only at the end of its lifecycle. It helps to protect pre-packaged goods against premature spoilage and damage and thereby avoids hunger – an aspect that the SAVE FOOD Initiative by FAO, UNEP and Messe Düsseldorf has been committed to since 2011 with the support of business, politics, organisations and institutions worldwide.
Integration of eco design
The Roundtable “Eco Design of Plastic Packaging” (Roundtable for short) underscores the importance of eco design as a major contribution to the sustainability of packaging in its initiative involving experts from companies across the entire value chain for plastic packaging (producers, food and consumer goods producers, retailers and plastics recyclers) as well as scientific and consumer protection organisations.
Packaging is complex in itself and therefore the integration of eco design poses additional challenges to consumer goods manufacturers. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
The initiative aims to promote eco design and to help companies incorporate environment-compatible design in their corporate management processes. During interpack 2017 in Düsseldorf just under 100 delegates met at the “Forum Eco Design”, an event organised by the Roundtable and IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen. Presented among other things was the Guideline project – a guideline to be developed with practical recommendations for companies; an initial design is expected to be prepared in cooperation with the Institut Ökopol by November 2017; April is hoped to see the final version. For January and March the Roundtable plans to hold feedback workshops with various stakeholders.