California's Proposition 65
Voted into law in 1986 to protect Californians from cancer-causing chemicals such as additives, dyes, pesticides, and solvents, from contaminating the water supply, Proposition 65 is a “right to know” law that requires a warning label to be printed on packaging noting the existence of any such chemicals. Failure to comply with the Act can lead to fines of up to $2,500 per day per violation.
Read more about CA's Prop 65.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
EPR legislation aims to shift the responsibility for “end-of-life” products and/or packaging from a municipality to those who create and use the packaging. While at first blush this might sound like a good idea, EPR programs are complicated, impractical, and expensive to implement, especially for inherently sustainable packaging substrates such as paperboard.
Read more about EPR.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Although Life Cycle Analysis (LCAs) are supposed to be hard science, hundreds of variables and measurements based on intricate or esoteric assumptions make this a complex endeavor. Additionally, conducting an impartial, thorough LCA is an expensive, time-consuming project. So a look at how others have tackled specific examples will help you understand the components of an LCA, interpret the meaning of LCA results, and arm yourself with answers for your customers.
Read more about LCAs.
In 2010, a German scientist found extremely low levels of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in some dry foods packaged in paperboard. He concluded that the impurities either migrated into the food from the paperboard packaging itself, the printing inks used on the outside of the packaging, or from the corrugated cardboard shipping containers. But a later study found that additives, food-processing chemicals, and other packaging materials such as plastic trays could have been the source of the contamination.
Read more about food safety.
Forest Certification Programs
Forest certification labels such as those issued by FSC, SFI, or PEFC confirm that the paper or paperboard used in the manufacture of product packaging has been harvested from managed, certified sustainable forests.
Read more about forest certification programs.
Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability (GPPS)
In an effort to help companies reduce the environmental impact of their packaging, the Global Packaging Project has released the Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability (GPPS), which sets out a common language and simple metrics to enable the consumer goods industry to better assess the relative sustainability of packaging.
Read more about GPPS.
Many brands tout the sustainability of their packaging by highlighting its minimal weight and low volume. This trend has gained traction in the past several years, compelling many CPGs to re-design their lower-weight packaging. Subsequently, industries involved in making lighter-weight materials such as flexible plastic are now claiming that they have less of an overall environmental impact because a lighter weight package requires less fuel to transport and distribute than heavier-weight substrates such as paperboard.
Read more about misleading claims about packaging weight.
Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA)
In conjunction with other associations and companies, PPC supports the recently filed Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), which gives state DOTs the discretion to optimize their roadway system by safely raising interstate truck weight limits on federal interstate highways from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds, with an additional axle.
Read more about SETA.
USDA Biobased Labeling Program
In 2012, a labeling system was added to the USDA's BioPreferred program that allows manufacturers of USDA-registered biobased products to use a "USDA Certified Biobased Product" label on their packaging. The USDA's interpretation of the original legislation excludes "mature markets," or those that have been in existence before 1972 (such as cotton shirts or towels, paper and paperboard, and even wooden furniture). Even though the USDA asserts that the label is not a statement of “environmental benefit,” the public is likely to perceive labeled products as environmentally preferable to those lacking the stamp. The result is that products with as little as 25 percent biobased content can be included in these programs while paper and paperboard containing as much as 100 percent biobased materials are ineligible.
Read more about USDA's Biobased Labeling Program.
In 2006-08 in Europe, the chemicals benzophenone and ITX were found in baby formula and breakfast cereal and prompted product recalls in Europe. Although U.S. law only requires that a functional barrier separate food from a package’s print surface, recently, some print buyers with strong European connections have begun to require American converters to use only low migration inks and coatings.
Read more about UV Inks.
Validating an Industry Study
Confirming that an industry study involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures is one of the most critical yet overlooked elements of report analysis. To best determine if a study's research is scientifically grounded, answers to nine questions should be thoughtfully assessed.
Read more about Validating an Industry Study.