Guidelines for the ecological design of plastic packaging


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The Eco Design Guidelines, a practice-oriented tool prepared to help companies find the right Eco Design strategy that they can integrate into their packaging development, is now available in an English version.

The guidelines are developed by the "Eco Design Round Table" with participants from along the entire value chain, the guidelines are intended become part of the standard repertoire of packaging development.

“The Guidelines for the Eco Design of Plastic Packaging are an effective and holistic tool that has been eagerly awaited by its users," says Isabell Schmidt, Ph.D. Managing Director of Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK) e.V., (Bad Homburg, Germany). She is quite pleased that the publication now available in two languages and disclosed that a French translation is also planned.

While packaging designers can use checklists, instructions and illustrative examples to systematically optimize their packaging solutions, core management guidelines have been developed to prepare the ground for sustainable packaging design at the highest decision-making levels. Eco Design can thus be included in the decision-making process from the very start.

More than just designing for recycling

Plastic packaging that protects goods during transport, in stores and in the home plays a vital role in conserving valuable resources and protecting the climate.

As everyone within and without the plastics industry knows, plastic pEco Design Matrixackaging has come under increasing pressure in recent years owing to inadequate waste management in various regions of the world. Large volumes of plastics remain unused in landfill sites or even enter the environment as littering. "Design for recycling" is being increasingly demanded from manufacturers and users in order to keep plastics permanently in the reusable material cycle. However, there are many more aspects to the design of plastic packaging and, consequently, requirements for recycling-friendly design need to be brought into line and balanced with other important environmental factors and key functions of packaging.

"While a number of guidelines and tools for ‘designing for recycling’ have already been developed over the last few years, these guidelines focus on imparting a comprehensive understanding of Eco Design,” says Schmidt. “At the same time, existing tools are for the first time available in bundled form. The underlying approaches enable us to even further improve the ecological profile of plastics packaging."

The guide is available for a complete check of packaging solutions free of charge at

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