YPP's packaging technology director Gillian Garside-Wight explained that different clients had their own sustainability targets.
"But I don't think carbon efficiency is going away as an issue," she said. "It looks set to stay. Nonetheless, it will need a lot of work to ensure consistency." As she pointed out, although the Publicly Available Standard (PAS 2050) on carbon calculation has been published, it has not yet been embraced by the entire supply chain. "A lot of people are hoping that carbon is going to go away, but I don't think it will," said Garside-Wight. The fact that, for some businesses, it can help in the identification of potential energy and cost savings is one reason why it is here to stay, she claimed.
In fact, there is often an overlap with more easily communicated elements of sustainability. Sun Chemical company YPP helped to develop the stand-up pouch concept for Asda's Fresh Tastes range of ready meals. "The energy involved in producing the single packaging component is arguably less than for producing a tray, top film and board sleeve," she said.
"At the time, though, Asda's target was to reduce the weight of its packaging by 25%, and this pack made a substantial impact."
The pouch also demonstrates how convenience and 'honesty' are playing an increasingly important role with regard to the quantity and appearance of food in a pack, Garside-Wight said.