Flexible Packaging – Lightweight. Less Waste. Less Energy Consumption.
As a whole, the technology and innovations of the flexible packaging industry have led to package minimization, waste reduction, and reduced energy consumption.
When compared to other packaging formats, flexible packaging generally:
- weighs less – resulting in less waste.
- has a better product-to-package ratio.
- consumes less energy in manufacturing and transport.
- generates less greenhouse gas emissions.
- contributes less to landfill waste (even when including recycling rates of other packaging formats).
According to a life-cycle assessment study (LCA) by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), inverted pouches greatly reduce environmental impact when compared to glass bottles. The results of this assessment show that STANDCAP inverted pouches:
- Reduce fossil fuel usage by 65%
- Reduce greenhouse emissions by 77.8%
- Reduce overall water usage by 80.6%
*Pouches also eliminate the need for a separate label or shrink sleeve.
- This convenient, lightweight 24-oz pouch weighs 20 g (sprayer not included) as opposed to 51 g for a typical 24-oz plastic bottle.
- One truckload of pouches holds 364,000 packages while the same quantity of like-sized rigid bottles would require nine truckloads.
- The additional eight truckloads traveling 1,000 miles will require an additional 2,000 gal of fuel and emit nine times the amount of greenhouse gases.
Unlike typical plastic bottles, which can waste about 14% of ultrasound gel left on the bottom, this lightweight flexible package design requires less energy to manufacture & transport and allows for up to 99.5% evacuation of the product, reducing the number of units consumed each year.
As a result, 1.5 million fewer containers and 800,000 less pounds of gel will end up in landfills. This reduced waste contributes to a yearly savings of $1.9 million for the industry.
For decades, Glenroy has been dedicated to preserving the environment through air emissions control, energy conservation, and recycling initiatives. Good stewardship of resources has been a principle of Glenroy, Inc. since our company was founded in 1965.
Our culture promotes continuous improvement, and environmental awareness is one of the areas where we have made great strides.
Air Emissions Control
- We have significantly reduced our VOC emissions by switching our flexographic printing from an open-air decking system to a closed central-impression system. This prevents VOC’s from escaping into the ambient environment.
- Since 1989, we have destroyed over 98% of captured VOC emissions through the use of catalytic and regenerative thermal oxidizers. Our regenerative thermal oxidizers utilize high-efficiency heat exchangers to thermally destroy HAP’s and VOC’s.
- By installing energy efficient lighting in our manufacturing facilities, we have reduced energy consumption of lighting by 26%.
- Our electricity consumption has been significantly reduced in winter months through the utilization of a free cooling loop on our process chilled water system.
- We have reduced manufacturing process waste by 40%.
- Of our recycled press wash solvent, 70% is processed into reusable fuel.
- We recycle 70% of the solvents used in our printing processes.
- We Recycle
- between 20 and 22 tons of packaging trim scrap every two weeks.
- approximately one ton of paper every two months.
- approximately four 55-gallon drums of aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and glass containers every six weeks.
- approximately 250,000 pounds of wood pallets, sideboard, and packaging every year.
Through our recycling programs, more than 100,000 pounds of materials are kept out of landfills and kept in the materials cycle every month.
The flexible packaging industry continues to devote resources to developing products that are sustainable and safe for the environment.
Our organization has a dedicated team of professionals committed to looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Through our efforts, the employees of our companies and the communities in which we operate benefit through reductions in energy use, preservation of air quality, landfill waste reduction, and a better living and working environment.
Table 1: Rigid Packaging vs. Flexible Packaging for Liquids
|Beverage Packaging||Product Weight||Packaging Weight||Product-to-Packaging Ratio||Packaging Weight
per 100 g Product
Kg Co2 e /8 oz
|Glass Bottle & Metal Cap||8 ounces (236 g)||198.4 g||1:1||83.9 g||3.36||0.29|
|Plastic PET Bottle & Cap||8 ounces (236 g)||22.7 g||10:1||9.6 g||3.00||0.18|
|Aluminum Can||8 ounces (236 g)||11.3 g||21:1||4.7 g||0.99||0.08|
|Stand-up Flexible Pouch||6.75 ounces (199 g)||5.7 g||35:1||2.8 g||0.45||0.02|
Source: FPA/Battelle Memorial Institute, Sustainability Assessment of Flexible Packaging; and Flexible Packaging! Less Resources, Energy, Emissions, and Waste (brochure). Cradle-to-grave life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions data developed for FPA by Battelle Memorial Institute. Packaging weight, product weight, and product-to-packaging ratio calculated by PTIS. Beverage assumed to be water.
Table 2: Non-carbonated Beverage Packaging Grams to Landfill
|Beverage Packaging||Product Weight||Packaging Weight||Packaging Weight
per 100 g Product
|Recycle Rate||To MSW Landifll||To Landfill
per 100 g Product
|Glass Bottle & Metal Cap||8 ounces (236 g)||198.4 g||83.9 g||34%||66%||55.4|
|Plastic PET Bottle & Cap||8 ounces (236 g)||22.7 g||9.6 g||29%||71%||6.8|
|Aluminum Can||8 ounces (236 g)||11.3 g||4.7 g||58%||42%||2.0|
|Stand-up Flexible Pouch||6.75 ounces (199 g)||5.7 g||2.8 g||0%||100%||2.8|
Source: FPA Case Studies, 2009; EPA 2010 MSW Report