Bob Hogan, director of international sales and marketing at flexible packaging suppliers, Zip-Pak, spoke to FoodProductionDaily.com about some of the misperceptions surrounding the concept of sustainability and food and beverage packaging.
Independent research, commissioned by the company last year, into how its devices compare with competitors' in the sustainability stakes revealed that flexible packaging is, on balance, more sustainable than rigid alternatives.
Franklin Associates looked at the life cycle inventory (LCI) of flexible re-sealable packaging and compared it to rigid packaging types.
The researchers found that products packaged in flexible pouches with re-sealable closures had lower energy consumption, solid waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions than rigid packaging. Moreover, transportation energy requirements were less for the flexible packs than for rigid alternatives.
The findings are remarkable since rigid packaging is often re-usable, which can give it a higher perception of sustainability in consumers' eyes.