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Dispatches from PCD Congress

Pushing for sustainable packaging should not bypass materials we already have

By Katie Bird , 27-Jan-2010

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Highlighting resource use of the packaging and pushing for more recyclable materials might be a step in the right direction but we should not forget petrochemical-based materials that already exist and may have a better environmental profile than those currently used, according to Alcan's Nicholas Thorne.

Reflecting the PCD Congress' central theme of sustainability, CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com caught up with the Alcan Packaging Beauty's innovation and development director to hear his views on the latest market developments in the domain.

According to Thorne, highlighting resource use such as water and carbon dioxide, which will become mandatory for certain product families in France early next year, are unlikely to sway the consumer away from a less ecological product she would otherwise prefer.

In addition, communicating the recyclability of a product is dangerous and misleading if it is well known that current recycling infrastructure cannot manage the material, he said.

However, alternating from materials currently used to others with smaller footprints, although still of petrochemical origin, is a change that can be made now with significant savings.

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