Sustainability and Flex Pack: a Study

Manteno, Il

Zip-Pak recently announced its latest research findings on the relationship between flexible packaging and sustainability. Zip-Pak says the life cycle inventory (LCI), conducted by independent third-party research firm Franklin Assoc., demonstrates the smaller environmental footprint of flexible resealable packaging as compared to rigid alternatives.

The study included eight packaging systems:

  • Six deli meat packages, one featuring a resealable closure manufactured by Zip-Pak on a flexible pouch, and five other packages qualified as rigid containers manufactured by companies unaffiliated with Zip-Pak;
  • Two breakfast cereal packages, one featuring a resealable closure manufactured by Zip-Pak on a flexible pouch, and one utilizing a bag-in-box format manufactured by a company unaffiliated with Zip-Pak.

Key findings included the following:

  • The deli meat package in a flexible pouch with a resealable closure was found to have the lowest energy consumption, solid waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions of the six deli meat packaging systems included in this analysis.
  • The breakfast cereal package in a flexible pouch with a resealable closure had the lowest energy consumption, solid waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions of the two breakfast cereal packaging systems included in this analysis.
  • Transportation energy accounted for less than 17% of total energy for all systems. However, the life cycle results show that the transportation energy requirements for the reusable container systems are higher than for the flexible packaging systems.

According to Zip-Pak, the smaller environmental footprint of flexible resealable packaging as compared with rigid packaging for the same product type is due to superior product-to-package ratio; lower energy footprint; lower solid waste footprint; and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

What's happening at your company? Send your news to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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