President’s Word

Definitely the world has been changing

Pierre Pienaar*

The packaging industry continues to be under the spotlight and I foresee this continuing through Covid-19. It is up to us to rise to the challenge. After 13 months of Covid-19, we have raised the bar in packaging to meet the demands that pandemic has placed at us. I passionately believe that the global packaging industry will continue to do so. More so than ever before, WPO member countries have worked together to ensure a global approach has been taken to effectively meet the needs of this demand.

Packaging for the food market continues to witness significant growth in the home delivery sector as families go into lockdown or prefer to self-isolate. This new life choice has seen a rise in the production of insulated packaging to keep frozen goods safe for home deliveries. As restaurants have re-opened with limited numbers allowed, if at all, the need for take away containers has skyrocketed.  Some countries have reflected an increase in demand of more than 200% for some lines of meat, seafood, and poultry. This is because of more people staying home and cooking for themselves rather than going out to eat. This change has led to a greater demand for appropriate meat trays that have been produced in safe, COVID-free environments.

There has been an overwhelming fear of consumers of being exposed to and catching COVID-19, which is currently a driving force behind safe packaging. The response to this has been that companies and brands have had to adapt to meet consumer’s new demands. Not only are consumers washing their hands more frequently and using more sanitiser than they have ever used before; they are also increasing their use of household disinfectants and cleaners. Purchasing behaviour for many consumers has changed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and consumers are now stock-piling non-perishable items such as rice, pasta, canned fish, canned vegetables etc.

Before COVID-19, companies were progressing quickly toward their sustainability goals. However, the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected a multitude of industries around the world, especially the packaging industry. Packaging companies were coming up with innovative technologies that were friendly to the environment, reusable, and biodegradable. But, concerns about the hygiene and safety of reusable packaging temporarily halted the packaging industry’s progress towards a sustainable and circular supply chain.

Following the pandemic, packaging companies will need to rebalance sustainability goals that incorporate heightened hygiene, normalise e-commerce, and take product cost into consideration. The impact of the pandemic will have a positive effect on performance because these new trends will highlight customers’ needs across the industry.(

The challenge for us in the packaging industry, therefore, remains two-fold: our first focus should always be on aiming to produce safe, reliable, reusable or recyclable, sustainable packaging. Our second, but equally important focus, must be on insisting local governments cooperate with us as material manufacturers, or converters to create a robust, successful recycling infrastructure that can process all the fantastically exciting new innovations in sustainable packaging.

There remains confusion among consumers regarding the disposal of packaging, especially plastics; and those who are keen to clean up our planet often have nowhere to go to manage their waste packaging. As consumers expect more protective packaging than ever before, we need to become serious about finding solutions to this even greater pandemic impact on packaging.

The battle for reducing plastic waste has been a hot initiative. Countries around the world started banning single-use plastics, including Colombia, parts of the United States, China, Zimbabwe, Albania, Cameroon, Romania, and many other countries. Companies were announcing targets that they planned to meet by a certain year in the effort to become as sustainable as possible.

Unfortunately, when COVID-19 began, consumers became concerned that a person could get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or another person. The virus seems to be able to survive on cardboard for about 24 hours, and on plastic for up to three days. Even though the exact danger was unknown, sustainability programs decreased or paused in the early months of the pandemic. Several countries and US states have paused and lifted bans on single-use plastics and have even banned reusable bags temporarily.

Supermarkets saw an increase in single-use plastics for wrapping products. This was the immediate safety response that places initiated for the health and safety of people across the globe. The amount of plastic waste generated in Thailand has surged by 15% with COVID-19, despite the country’s ban on plastic bags that was introduced in January 2020.

The United Kingdom was on its way to legislate banning the sale of plastic drinking straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds, and plastic stirrers. UK Environment Minister confirmed that this will be delayed, since discarding single-use plastic products that may carry virus droplets is safer. Originally, the regulations were laid in March and set to come into force in April. In the USA, some states been calling for delays on plastic bans, fearing that reusable bags carry the virus. This pushback increased demand for products like bottled water and disposable sanitisers. (

Education in packaging knowledge is key to our future success. Attending webinars or offering and training programs to ensure they keep up with the latest trends and expectations, is an excellent start. The WPO can help you with such training courses. 

I believe, post this pandemic, that public perception of packaging, particularly plastic and sustainability issues, will have altered as they realise the value of packaging. I really hope the ongoing drive to remove plastic altogether and of seeing plastic as the ogre – rather than the solution - will have changed to a push for improved waste management infrastructure around the world. COVID-19 has perhaps done the poor plastic victim a BIG favour. And, hopefully, a new focus and knowledge will lead to new innovations for better collection, for recycling and reuse of plastic materials.

*Pierre Pienaar is President of WPO
[email protected]
WPO – World Packaging Organization

Around the World

Packaging conference in Ukraine

At the end of 2020, the Club Packagers of Ukraine (, a WPO member, held the 14th Conference ‘Packaging Industry’, in Kiev. The conference was attended by about 70 specialists from 45 Ukrainian and foreign packaging companies. The topic of the conference was ‘Sustainability and Industry-4.0’ and 10 reports were presented.

Well-known experts in Ukraine and abroad talked about environmentally friendly packaging; industry 4.0 as a method of ensuring the stable development of the packaging industry; circular technologies; and digitalization and automation in packaging processes.

Participants were actively discussing the development of packaging in Ukraine, the use of modern technologies, packaging materials and equipment. Ukrainian and foreign companies, like Dow Europe GmbH and Coca-Cola, supported the conference. Each participant of the conference received a book of reports and other information materials, and an article about the conference was published in the Ukrainian magazine "Upakovka".

IoPP certification program continues solid growth globally

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP –, WPO member in USA, reports that certifications in its Certified Packaging Professional program have grown 4.4% over the past year to 1,270 globally. IoPP now has CPPs in 28 countries as its certification program continues to show significant international growth.

IoPP, working with WPO, has formed partnerships with the Australian Institute of Packaging, the Institute of Packaging South Africa and others to spread awareness about the CPP program internationally.

Earning the CPP designation is an excellent investment in an individual’s professional development. This credential signifies packaging professionals who have gone the extra mile with continuing education that validates them internationally as proficient in a broad range of skills in packaging. The CPP designation is recognized internationally by the WPO.

Beyond partnership efforts, IoPP also is growing the CPP program globally through licensing agreements and professional development programs with individual companies. During 2020, approximately 40 packaging professionals at PepsiCo, many of them outside of the USA, earned their CPP designation.

To find out more about this certification program, contact the WPO at [email protected].

PACMACHINE Awards 2020 jury report

For recognizing the achievements of packaging machinery sector and to promote their efforts, the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP -, a WPO member, introduced the PACMACHINE Awards in 1992. The main objective was to recognize the excellence with innovative concepts in design and development in packaging machinery particularly for import substitution and promoting exports. This year there were four categories including Packaging Machinery, Packaging Conversion Machinery, Other Packaging Machinery and Supporting Packaging Machinery.

The Jury was composed by reputed institutions and industry as you can see below:

  • Tanweer Alam, Director-IIP
  • Samir Limaye, Director & Immediate Past President, Institute of Packaging Machinery Manufacturers of India (IPMMI)
  • Sudhakar Umale, Head of Department, Sardar Patel College of Engineering
  • Priam Pillai, Professor, Pillai College of Engineering 

Entries were judged as per the laid down parameters and graded by the respective Jury Members. On the Parameters for declaration of winning nominations, as agreed by all Jury Members, following entries are shortlisted as winners for the year 2020:


Entry Name

Company Name


Margo Dangler Automation

Jyothy Labs Ltd


SPM 1200L- 7A Smart Machine

Shubham Flexipack Packaging Machines Pvt Ltd


Induction Cap Sealer for IP65 Application

Electronics Devices Worldwide Pvt Ltd


Tube Capping Machine: CP-130-OR

Technoshell Automations Pvt Ltd


Integrated Strapping Machine

Signode India Limited


System Automation for A3/A4 Paper Reams


Packaging machinery sector, complies of making Packaging Converting Machines, Product Packaging Machines and allied equipment, have adopted modern technology and even exported to developed economies of the world. Many of the Indian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers are well known for producing some sophisticated machineries. Specific features that attract the overseas buyer to the Indian market are flexibility in manufacturing and price of equipment. While meeting the local industry demands to a great extent, the value of Indian Packaging machinery export is also at higher side.

WPO participates in PKN Podcast Ep 12: Save Food Packaging report

In this episode, Lindy Hughson, Managing Editor & Publisher of PKN Packaging News, talks with Alan Adams MAIP, Sustainability Director at Sealed Air APAC and Nerida Kelton MAIP, Wpo Vice President Sustainability & Save Food and Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP –, a WPO member. Both Sealed Air and the AIP are consortium members for the Save Food Packaging Project for the Fight Food Waste CRC.

The key topic of this episode was the launch of the first Save Food Packaging Design Industry Insights report from the AIP, in partnership with RMIT, under the banner of the CRC's Save Food Packaging Project. The report reveals the extent of the problem when it comes to food manufacturers taking responsibility for preventing food waste.

The Save Food Packaging Consortium is made up of the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) as project lead, RMIT as the research partner. Project contributors are Zipform Packaging, Sealed Air, Multivac and APCO; project partners are Plantic Technologies, Result Group and Ulma Packaging; and the extension network consists of Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC), Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) and the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST).

Check the podcast

IoPP and AIP form partnership to expand reach of industry’s Salary Survey

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP – and the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP –, both WPO members, are partners to take IoPP´s traditional Salary Survey to the Australasian region for the first time. IoPP will continue to be the authoritative force in reporting salary and employment information within the packaging industry in North America, and the partnership with the AIP will expand the reach of the survey into new regions.

IoPP has released its Salary Survey annually for the past 15 years, reporting on compensation and employment trends in North America as that continent’s only such survey focused on the packaging industry.

“The survey results for the Australasian Regional will be developed from data derived from questions pertaining to our region that have been added to the Salary Survey in North America,” explains Nerida Kelton, AIP Executive Director and WPO Vice President Sustainability & Save Food. “The AIP is seeking input from packaging professionals in our regional to ensure that we can develop a definitive resource for our industry for the region, as IoPP has done for theirs.”

Adds Jane Chase, IoPP Executive Director, “We are thrilled to partner with the AIP in expanding on this important research each year for the packaging industry. Given COVID-19’s impact on the world, there has never been a more important time to respond to the Salary Survey, and the timing of our survey’s expansion into a new region could not be better.”

The Salary Survey includes a number of open-ended questions to gain a detailed perspective on a variety of factors affecting compensation and employment. The report created from this survey, and made available to industry professionals, does more than reporting salary information. It touches on current employment status and educational factors, future career prospects and more.

Separate reports summarizing the data for both the U.S. and Australasian areas will become available in the near future. Both organizations will offer their final 2021 reports at no cost to those who complete the survey.

From the Board

WPO new Global Ambassador

Hiroko Akieda, International Business Manager of Japan Packaging Institute (JPI –, a WPO member, is now part of WPO Global Ambassador team. Her main focus will be the Corporate Partners, besides all the regular responsibilities of WPO Ambassadors as follows:

  • be directly responsible to the President
  • officially represent the WPO at all times
  • responsible for particular projects
  • support the vice Presidents when required
  • ad hoc functioning where needs arise within VP portfolios
  • attend executive meetings (welcome to but not imperative to)
  • have no vote on the executive committee

If you have any question, Hiroko´s e-mail is [email protected].

WPO launches ‘World Pack Talk Show’

The first interview of the series ‘World Pack Talk Show’, WPO new communication project, was recorded with Sriman Banerjee, Head of Packaging Development & CDE R&D Pharma Sci of Takeda Pharmaceutical (, WPO Corporate Partner. He was interviewed by Liliam Benzi, WPO Press & Communications Liaison Officer, about trends and innovations in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, considering the challenges imposed by Covid-19.

The main message: “Pandemic brought new challenges to the packaging industry. Smart and active packaging and fast tracking systems seem to be the most relevant. The mission is to guarantee the availability of products and the interaction products/patients in the safety of their homes. And more than ever: packaging is part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

The YouTube link to access the video is

Enjoy, watch and share!

WPO invites members to virtual Board Meeting

According to the actual Covid-19 situation, WPO Board Meeting, scheduled to May 2021, will be virtual again. The program starts on Monday, 17th of May with the Executive Meeting (restricted to the executive members of WPO only).

On Tuesday, 18th of May members are invited to take part in the Corporate Partner program. The parallel Working Groups meetings - Sustainability, Education and Marketing – will be held on Wednesday, 19th of May and WPO Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, 20th May.

As the time for the meetings will be limited compared to a “normal” WPO Board Meeting, there will be no presentation at the meeting itself – only slots for (short) discussion and voting.

One week before the meeting, members will receive an e-mail with a shared folder where they will find all presentations and documents to prepare for the meeting. 

Additionally, there is the possibility to write and report questions to the WPO Board prior to the meeting. Soon you will receive the link for registration.

For additional information, contact General Secretary, Johannes Bergmair, by e-mail [email protected].

WPO and ProPack Asia webinars

As part of the agreement between WPO and ProPack Asia (Informa Group), WPO President, Pierre Pienaar and some WPO Execs have been participating in webinars organized by the show. The link below takes to the webinar in which Pierre and Nerida Kelton, WPO Vice President Sustainability & Save Food, spoke about ‘Sustainable Packaging’.

Watch and share!


AIP supports Cold Chain Professional Development Series

WPO member, Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP – announced that the first industry-wide training program aimed at improving the Cold Chain Credentials of those responsible for the integrity and safety of Australia’s chilled and frozen food supply is now available.

The Cold Chain Professional Development Series has been developed in response to cold chain losses from temperature abuse, which have been identified by recent national studies sponsored by the Commonwealth Government.

The Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC), with input and support from AIP and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), has taken the lead by producing the first of five Cold Food Codes. This is the first online training program of its kind for those who work at the many levels in the cold chain, in transport, distribution centres, loading docks, food industries and retail outlets.

According to WPO President, Pierre Pienaar, that is also Education Director of AIP, ‘We in packaging remain closely involved in the Cold Supply Chain and currently excessive food is being damaged whilst in transit. These Cold Chain Training Modules focus on the issues and explain in an ‘easy guide’, possible ways how we can mitigate problems and potential damage to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of goods to our customers. It is a ‘must’ for all packaging technologists, as well as everyone within the cold supply chain. I can assure you that if you follow these guidelines you will significantly reduce food waste in the supply chain.”

To register for the ‘Basic Principles of Thermometers and how to use them Training Module’ access


WPO announces ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ Winner for 2021, Ralph Moyle

WPO announced and posted on its webpage the winner in the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, organized on yearly basis. The judges, from all over the world, elected Ralph Moyle, from Australia.

“The WPO ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, in the field of packaging, was established with the aim of recognising practitioners, from all packaging disciplines, who have made a significant national or international contribution in packaging over a prolonged and sustained period”, says Pierre Pienaar, WPO President. In so doing, the WPO acknowledges and rewards excellence in all aspects of packaging science, technology, design and application across the globe.

Pierre completes, “It is these people who have consistently pushed the boundaries in advancing packaging to serve the needs of an ever more demanding consumer base. These prestigious awards will celebrate and preserve, in perpetuity, the collective achievements of these innovators.”

Ralph Moyle FAIP, CPP, is a stalwart of the packaging industry in Australia, where he has contributed significantly for over 40 years. Ralph is an experienced packaging consultant with an extensive knowledge in the manufacturing industry; he has been expanding packaging knowledge as a mentor, trainer and educator across Australia, New Zealand and parts of South East Asia. Moyle is a born leader and his extensive years in the industry have seen him lead many teams across Food and Beverage industries. He continues to put his hand up to help the industry, to mentor students, to mentor team members and is always there to help.

Annually, each WPO member (representing a voting member) is able to make up to one nomination for ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, through an online registration form. The honorees will be recognised during the WorldStar Award Ceremony planned for May 2021.

Check all the winners of WorldStar Awards at the new webpage

WorldStar Student

WPO announces winners of WorldStar Student Awards 2020




The judging has been completed and the results of the winners for WorldStar Student 2020 Awards, organized by WPO, are available on the WorldStar Student Awards website

The photos illustrate Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from a total of 219 entries and the 3 main winners are:

  • Gold - Ojo is a solution-oriented nail polish bottle for the risk of spillage and contamination in daily use of nail polish. (Turkey)
  • Silver - Honey extruder, an innovative, functional and 100% sustainable dosing bottle of honey. (Spain)
  • Bronze - The pen box is designed to increase the use of fibreboard in everyday life; it can be used as a tabletop pen holder to move items with us, store them, and also to prevent clutter on the table. (Turkey)

“These projects demonstrate the potential of the new generation in creating good packaging. As I always say, each day it becomes more important to encourage the youth to understand and participate in the world of packaging. With them aware of the benefits and the contributions that good packaging can give to the society and to the environment, we can be guaranteed of a sustainable world for all”, says WPO President, Pierre Pienaar.

The entries to the 2021 competition will open, on-line, on 1st May 2021 and details are also available on the website

Any questions, contact the Coordinator of the competition, Bill Marshall, by e-mail [email protected].


WPO member becomes official Supporter of Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands Plastic Pact (ANZPAC)

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP –, is proud to be one of the earliest adopters of ANZPAC ( As an official Supporting Association of ANZPAC, the AIP will be working closely with other businesses, governments and NGOs to move towards a circular economy for plastic.

Too much plastic waste ends up in landfill and in the region’s natural environments.  In Australia, only 18% of all plastic packaging are recovered for future use, while in New Zealand, 41% of recyclable plastic containers are sent to landfill. A similar situation is happening in the Pacific Islands, where over 300,000 tons of waste plastic is generated each year. By 2040, if we fail to act, the volume of plastic on the market will double, the annual volume of plastic entering the ocean will almost triple, and ocean plastic stocks will quadruple.

However, a new way for addressing the plastics issue is here.  On 1 January 2021, the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island Plastics Pact (ANZPAC) launched in the region a collaborative platform for the circular economy, in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution.

ANZPAC is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution that enables vital knowledge sharing and coordinated action. Each Plastics Pact brings together businesses, policy makers and NGOs around the world, who through shared ambition, combined expertise and collaboration create regional and national solutions to plastic waste and pollution.

The ANZPAC Plastics Pact will:

  • Coordinate and align stakeholders from industry, government, academia, NGOs and industry associations to work towards the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision for a circular economy for plastic.
  • Work collaboratively towards national and regional Plastics Pact 2025 Targets.
  • Build a clearly defined roadmap for how the region will reach them.
  • Measure and communicate progress through public annual reporting.
  • Co-design and implement pioneer initiatives, activities and solutions across the region.
  • Share knowledge and experiences, and learn from regional, national and global experts.

To find out more about ANZPAC, visit or contact Nerida Kelton by e-mail [email protected].

Message from General Secretary

The virus can´t stop us!


Do you feel a bit like this crushed package in the picture? Well, it can happen these days, I guess. Still Covid-19, still no traveling, miss all my WPO friends … zoom is marvellous, but …

I should not think too much about such things. It’s Friday and Liliam is waiting for my report! And there are so many things to report from WPO Secretariat! Incredible!

LibanPack took over the organisation of our WorldStar program with beginning of 2021. I happily can report that the hand-over procedure was easy and smooth. Thanks again to Rachel, Ian and all their colleagues from IOM3, as well as Soha and her team, for an outstanding good job! Watch out for the new style on WorldStar homepage!

Thanks to Kishan, we finished the upgrade of our quality management to ISO 9001:2015 level end of the year 2020. At the moment we are getting some trainings from Kishan so we can start with continues improvement on the system. One of those improvements has been realized already. Long time requested, now possible: members can do their payment to WPO (e.g. membership fee) easily, conveniently and safe by credit card now. Thanks to Tanja for organizing everything – she is available for any questions on that procedure, if you need more specifics!

As reported in last newsletter we are as active in cooperation with other international bodies as never before. The most interesting for me is a joint action with WDO (World Design Organisation). Cannot tell you all details here, as we are on the last meters of preparation and want to have structured communication on this. But be aware in the next weeks – we will start a unique program soon!

Interpack will not happen in February/March 2021 but was postponed to the next regular slot for that show in May 2023. So, the planned joint booth/area of WPO and Messe Düsseldorf will be organized in two years from now.

According to the actual Covid-19 situation our WPO Board Meeting in May 2021 will be held virtually via zoom again. The WPO Meeting program will start on Monday, 17th of May with the Executive Meeting (restricted to the executive members of WPO only). On Tuesday, 18th of May, you are invited to take part in the corporate partner program. The parallel Working Groups for Sustainability, Education and Marketing will be held on Wednesday, 19th of May. The crowning finale on Thursday, 20th May will be WPO Board Meeting.

Meeting time will be from 11:30 to approximately 14:30 CET (Central European Time; i.e. Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Rome) every of those given days. We will send out the registration for the meetings and all zoom-links within the next weeks.

As the time for our sessions will be limited compared to a “normal” WPO Board Meeting, there will be no presentation at the meeting itself – only slots for (short) discussion and voting. One week before the meeting, you will receive an email with a shared folder where you find all presentations and documents to prepare for the meeting. Please schedule enough time to go through this information prior to meeting.

Meanwhile WPO Executive Committee also confirmed that next WorldStar Ceremony will be virtual again. Soha and her team will give you all necessary information as soon as possible.

Optimistic as we are, the next “real” meeting will then be South Africa 22. – 26. November 2021. Cross fingers, friends!!!

So, even if we are a bit crushed like that box, that virus can’t stop us from working on better quality of life through better packaging for more people!

Tanja Woschniak & Barbara Zottl
WPO Secretariat
[email protected]

Johannes Bergmair
WPO General Secretary
[email protected]

Special Article

A 'journey' through traditions driven by technology

By Liliam Benzi* who visited the exhibition at the invitation of Japan House São Paulo

Japanese packaging combines respect for traditions with state-of-the-art technology. Let´s say it is a technological ancestry. We are also talking about an element with fundamental importance in Japanese culture where the importance of packaging is evidenced by the term Tsutsumu which means "to wrap", "to pack" and whose ideogram symbolizes the image of a child inside its mother's womb, referring to the idea of protecting what is precious.

In line with this concept, the Japan House São Paulo presents the show 'Packaging: Contemporary Designs of Japan', on display until March 14. Elaborated in partnership with Japanese Package Design Association (JPDA), company responsible for Japan Package Design Awards - award that celebrates, since 1985, designers that creates packaging with focus on the premises of creativity, aesthetics, usability, value and marketing potential - the show presents packaging that reveals much of consumer behavior and traditions and customs of Japanese quotidian.

They are not just attractive packaging, but exquisite examples of the importance of the act of giving as part of a complex code in Japan. All this without forgetting that the Japanese consumer also seeks the attributes of today: functionality, convenience, on the go consumption and sustainability.

In these photos some examples of the art of Japanese packaging supported by technology. Some points deserve more evidence as the millenary shoyu that becomes transparent and leaves the packaging equally dark. The rice that becomes a gift and sustainable packaging with a focus on 'kinder projects with people and the planet'. And one of my favorites: 'air pack' packaging for growing fresh vegetables in aseptic environment which allows the consumption of food without the need for hygiene.

Definitely this exhibition is a unmissable trip through the packaging universe which reinforces my belief: in Japan the packaging goes beyond the own packaging; it is a gift that reverences the product (especially the food) and shows respect for the final consumer.

As Natasha Barzaghi Geenen, Cultural Director of Japan House São Paulo and curator of the exhibition, stated, "These packages say a lot about Japanese culture; they call the attention because of their aesthetics and the importance given to every detail, but also allow a general panorama of consumer habits in the country. The idea is also to inspire designers and national companies that seek this combination of product, design and sustainability in order to deliver a complete consumer experience. The refinement of the packaging values the product even more and deserves the same care in its development".

The exhibition justifies why Japan is admired worldwide for its 'wrapping' culture, which puts container and content on the same level of importance, with quality packaging being a sign of respect to the person who will receive the product. The packaging carries important aspects of the concept of Omotenashi (hospitality); to treat the other well from a design thougth to anticipate consumer needs, respecting the user and the nature.

An essential part of the object, a well thought out design values the best of each product and can start from more traditional and millenary techniques such as Furoshiki - millenary Japanese technique that uses square fabrics to wrap, pack and protect the most varied types of objects by means of moorings - even the most complex and technological, such as a lotion bottle produced with the highest level of the industry in the use rate of super recycled glass - 90% or more.

Finally, it is clear that in Japan, every detail matters and should be considered with the maximum attention, revealing that the Japanese search for perfection and sense of beauty can be perceived in daily life from the packaging.

*Liliam Benzi is a specialist in communication, marketing and business development and strategies for B2B, with emphasis on the packaging sector. She is also the Editor of some publications, including WPO News, and is the Communication Advisor for several companies and entities. She was elected ‘Professional of the Year 2018’ in Brazil. She was also appointed as Press & Communication Liaaison Officer of WPO for a second term and is the head of her company - LDB Comunicação - since 1995 ([email protected]).

Special Article

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can guide Sustainable Packaging Design

To optimise circular and sustainable design packaging technologists need to look at the potential environmental impacts of the product across its lifetime. 

By Nerida Kelton*

Environmental impact categories can include carbon/greenhouse gas emissions, water depletion, mineral consumption, land transformation, eutrophication, toxicity, and many more and can be undertaken through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

This assessment can look holistically at environmental impacts of products, and associated packaging, from raw materials, to production, through to household, and then at end-of-life.

Now more than ever science-driven information, that is derived from LCA, is such an important step in ensuring that your product and packaging have the lowest environmental impact wherever possible across the entire value chain. 

When used in the packaging industry LCA can provide accurate data that can guide a business in the choice of materials, pack shapes and sizes, but also when looking to move to a ‘more sustainable’ material or pack. The recyclability of the packaging, the ability to re-use and refill the packaging and meeting global and regional Packaging Targets must also be considered and can be checked as a design choice with LCA.

Using LCA within this decision-making process ensures that the business has all available datasets in front of them to make informed choices. LCA can eliminate second-guessing and assumptions about ‘Sustainable Packaging’ choices and can provide concrete information that crosses all areas of the supply chain.

Start with a Life Cycle Map

Before you undertake a LCA establish a cross-departmental and cross-supply chain team to create a Life Cycle Map of your product and packaging.

The Life Cycle Map needs to provide a clear and concise representation of the steps required to source and produce the product-packaging system, the distribution system, as well as its use, disposal and recovery. Determining inputs and outputs to life cycle stages on the map, such as energy, materials and emissions should then start to reveal blind spots and impact categories or priority areas to focus on. The map will also help to identify areas of improvement, challenges and unexpected consequences of possible product or packaging choices.

Streamlined LCA or Full LCA

Once you have established your Life Cycle Map the next step is to decide whether you would like to undertake a Streamlined LCA or a Full LCA on the product. To do this you need to define the Goal and Scope of the LCA. You need to determine the purpose of the study i.e., internal improvement or public claims, the system boundaries to be set, the inventory to be collected, the impact assessment to be applied, and the interpretation method that will enable the business to arrive at conclusions and recommendations.

Streamlined LCA is ideally suited when a business is looking to better understand the blind spots and any major areas of focus within the life cycle of a product, or to make internal decisions about something to change in the life cycle. Streamlined LCA can produce results quickly, are ideal for SME’s and can invaluably assist to meet global and regional Packaging Targets. They are also a great way to determine if a full LCA is required thereafter.

Full Life Cycle Assessments are comprehensive reports that meet international ISO 14040/14044 standards for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The data is permitted to be used for internal assessment purposes and within the public domain when undertaking either a standalone assessment or when comparing more than one product or packaging system. If publicly disseminating a study, the ISO standards suggest peer review, which is often conducted for companies going down this road by an external panel or party. An example of a full LCA is a comparative study called ‘Beverage and Food Packaging in Australia and New Zealand’ that was recently commissioned by Tetra Pak Oceania.

Benefits of Life Cycle Assessment

There are so many benefits of embedding LCA into all areas of the business including lowering environmental impacts, optimising packaging material choices, improving the sustainability of a product and its whole-of-life and improving your triple bottom line. Life Cycle Assessment can also contribute to making more informed decisions when it comes to sustainability and carbon foot printing. These decisions are made easier when a packaging technologist embeds Life Cycle Assessment into packaging design.

When embarking on the use of LCA it is important to note that the process is not a silver bullet. LCA should be seen as an investigative and comparative process that can identify areas of improvement within the whole-of-life of your product and packaging.  LCA is quite simply an additional tool in the tool belt to ensure that decisions are well-informed, and science driven.   

As Dr Karli Verghese FAIP said in her book ‘Packaging for Sustainability’, “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can produce convincing evidence that intuition is no longer enough.”


*Nerida Kelton MAIP is WPO Vice President Sustainability & Save Food.


Electronic publication from WPO – World Packaging Organisation –

Coordination: WPO’s President: Mr. Pierre Pienaar / WPO’s General Secretary: Mr. Johannes Bergmair / ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association: Mrs. Luciana Pellegrino / Miss Isabella Salibe

Contribution: WPO Members

Publishing: ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association –

Responsible Editor: IPPO Member Liliam Benzi - Journalist Mtb 19.352 – Brazil – [email protected]

Diagramming: Formato Editoração e Design - Mr. Saulo Pacheco

Photos: Contribution of WPO members