Using plastic packaging
Synonyms: Packaging in plastics
Context: Plastics enable development of lightweight and less bulky protective packaging and typically account for just 1 - 3% of a product's weight. Plastic packaging substantially increases the volume of goods transported and stored, and significantly reduces consumption of packaging material and ultimately raw materials, compared to more traditional packaging materials.
Implementation: Shrink-wrap provides a 70% packaging reduction by weight to cardboard alternatives. 50% of all consumer goods, by weight, are protected by plastics, yet the contribution to packaging waste is only 10 - 15%. In 1994, plastic packaging represented just seven percent of the volume of goods transported, rather than 43% typical of more traditional materials. This offers a 39% saving in fuel. Replacing plastics would increase packaging weight by 391%, energy consumption by 208% and the volume of waste by 258%. A 39% fuel saving is made when mineral water is delivered in plastic bottles. Life cycle analysis in Canada revealed that a paper cup used 15 times more chemicals, 6 times more steam and 13 times more electricity than its plastic counterpart. The average plastic packs now weigh up to eighty percent less than they did twenty years ago.
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies