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Standcap Pouch Bests Rigid Plastic Packaging in Life Cycle Assessment

Compared with rigid plastic bottles, Standcap pouches use less plastic and significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water usage, according to a new report.

Clare Goldsberry

June 23, 2020

2 Min Read
Standcap Pouch Bests Rigid Plastic Packaging in Life Cycle Assessment

Glenroy Inc., a converter and printer of sustainable flexible packaging based in Menomonee, WI, recently published a report detailing its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Standcap vs. Rigid Plastics. The assessment was performed by Ann Arbor, MI–based PTIS LLC, and the report provides descriptions of key environmental indicators comparing the premade Standcap pouch to a rigid package equivalent across a range of categories including sauces, condiments, and personal care products. The purpose of the LCA is to better understand the environmental impacts of the package options and to use the results as an educational tool.

To help summarize the key findings of each LCA case study, the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) partnered with Glenroy to produce fact sheets, in keeping with previous and future LCA case studies that FPA has done with PTIS.

The streamlined LCA tool, EcoImpact-Compass, was used for the package comparison as it is a widely accepted tool within the packaging community. The tool has been continuously revamped as new manufacturing and converting information has become available. EcoImpact-Compass allows for a cradle-to-grave analysis incorporating transportation and end-of-life (recycling or landfill) impacts. The tool is administered and updated regularly by software provider Trayak.

The new Standcap pouch from Glenroy received two Gold Awards at the 2020 FPA Achievement Awards competition. Image courtesy Glenroy.

According to the study, choosing premade Standcap pouches instead of rigid plastic bottles (including rigid inverted plastic squeeze bottles) reduces the amount of plastic used by as much as 63% (by weight), fossil fuel consumption by 61%, greenhouse gas emissions by 62%, and water usage by 76%. It also results in 52% less landfill waste, even when factoring in plastic recycling rates.

Evan Arnold, Vice President of Business Development for Glenroy, notes, “Even when factoring in recycling rates for the rigid formats, the data showed that the premade Standcap pouch results in much less material being disposed at end of life. And, our product development team is working with partners across the supply chain to deliver additional innovative film structures that will further increase the sustainability of this flexible format.”

Glenroy’s new Standcap pouch won two Gold Awards in the 2020 FPA Achievement Awards competition, one for expanding the use of flexible packaging and another for packaging excellence. The company also won a silver award for sustainablility.

The LCA case study fact sheets can be viewed at the FPA website. The full case study report can be downloaded from the Glenroy site.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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