Industry standards group GS1 has released guidelines aimed at promoting sustainable packaging practices in the supply chain.
The group’s Best Practices Guildeline for Sustainability in Packaging Materials offers guidance for retailers and suppliers on selecting the best packaging materials and implementing processes to minimize non-recyclable waste. The guideline focuses on the use of polybags, packing techniques and materials, and cartons, and addresses broad demands for more sustainable packaging alongside an increase in e-commerce and omnichannel retail activity.
The guideline applies to North American companies in the general merchandise and apparel sectors, including cosmetics, jewelry, footwear, fashion accessories, apparel and sportswear, sporting goods, home fashion, and small appliances. It addresses ways to “rightsize” packaging components and optimize polybag thickness to reduce plastic waste, and also offers guidance on recyclability, bag closures, labels, and carton fulfilment.
“This new guideline is designed to help supply chain partners identify simple packaging parameters that can be adjusted to reduce waste without compromising product protection,” Angela Fernandez, vice president of community engagement at GS1 US said in a November 19 statement. “The best practices suggested by the workgroup can improve performance on sustainability initiatives while enhancing customer experiences through the delivery of minimally packaged products.”