Myth vs. Reality still plagues 'sustainable' packaging


It’s a topic that seems to crop up—if not dominate—almost every plastics industry conference: Sustainability. Ian Murdoch, director at PricewatershouseCooper Corporate Finance Beratung GmbH in Vienna, Austria, broached the subject in his presentation “Sustainable Packaging: Myth or Reality” at the recent IML/IMDCON, an annual meeting that addresses the technology and advances in inmold labeling and inmold decorating.

Even after nearly a decade of using the S-word, Murdoch noted that when talking to people about sustainability, “they are hard-pressed to give you a definition.” PwC recently released a survey on sustainable packaging titled “Revisiting the Debate” that emphasized the confusion among not just consumers but among brand owners as well.

“It became clear to us that sustainable is a term uncertain of its own definition,” stated Murdoch. “We felt in 2010 that the packaging industry was not proactive but reactive, falling to the whims of retailers because the industry was not involved in the conversation. So we looked at how do consumers react to sustainability? And how do retailers respond?”

Read more