Sustainable packaging is more important than ever with individuals, retailers, brands, public bodies and consumers demanding that the paper and material used for packaging products is environmentally friendly and from a legal and certified origin. This global awareness means urgent action is required to reduce overall packaging use and generate a future that’s free from plastic pollution.
The circular economy and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle, means that businesses are having to rethink packaging strategies with sustainable forest management (SFM) playing a key role. SFM provides timber and wood fibre to a wide range of industries including the paper and packaging sector.
The devastating effects of single-use plastics on the environment, marine pollution and the effects on the human food chain has also intensified in the public’s consciousness via huge coverage in the TV and wider media. Consequently, consumers are changing their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact and are looking for sustainable and recyclable packaging options.
Companies are also increasingly keen to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing of paper and packaging products by developing responsible procurement policies which recognise both recycled and certified fresh fibre. The PEFC label allows companies to make their sustainable sourcing and supply chain visible to consumers and additionally help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to create a healthier planet. With corporate social responsibility reporting now an everyday management process, wood-fibre packaging procurement policies can support companies in meeting these sustainability targets.
Buying from responsibly-managed forests means respecting the forest owners – large and small – to maintain biodiversity, productivity and regeneration capacity. According to Two Sides, 71% of wood and 83% of pulp purchased by the European pulp and paper industry is PEFC or FSC-certified. In Europe, where almost all primary forests are protected, paper comes from sustainably managed forests where the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting is carefully controlled.
Certified packaging solutions range from cardboard and paper bags, to food protection for chocolate, bakery items, fresh produce, tea and coffee to timber and composite pallets, plywood packing cases and crates. PEFC chain of custody certification provides assurances of legal and sustainable sourcing.
PEFC provides a range of brochures and guidance for the sector: