Review of Plastic Food Packaging Circularity in North America: Potential Tools & Resources for Navigating Trade-offs for More Sustainable Packaging (High Circularity and Low Environmental Impact)
The plastic food packaging sector is expected to continuously grow. This project focuses on plastic packaging that is in direct contact with packaged food products. EOL (end of life) disposal for plastic packaging and related environmental impacts are often seen as a crisis. The multiple-level governance (state, civil and corporation levels) of plastic sustainability is in-depth reviewed, and the momentum to improve plastic food packaging sustainability is very evident. But current policy and regulations leave companies unclear on how to navigate the complex trade-offs among packaging attributes in environmental, performance, functionality, and commercial viability. This paper provides thoughts on design considerations, potential resources & tools to guide sustainable packaging developers and firms on how to navigate trade-offs and to develop more sustainable packaging, as well as long-term opportunities to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging.