Adam Barnett, vice president of marketing and innovation, at LINPAC Packaging.
Challenge the public perception that plastic is environmentally damaging.
“For too long plastic has been viewed as the environmental curse of packaging materials. The reality is very different of course. When considered over the entire life of the packaging, paper and cardboard embody far more greenhouse gases than their plastic equivalents and take substantial amounts of energy to make.
“By contrast, plastic is light, durable and its manufacture is not generally energy intensive. At LINPAC Packaging, all of our plastic products can be recycled and many incorporate a level of post consumer recyclate, such as our Rfresh and New Leaf ranges. There is no other packaging material that performs quite like plastic – it is versatile and cost-effective and does not give off any carbon emissions in landfill.”
Is the rigid plastic sector doing enough to put across its benefits, if not why not? What can it do better?
“The sector has been overshadowed by myths about the impact plastic has on the environment. LINPAC Packaging is committed to challenging these perceptions by working closely with trade bodies, government agencies and customers to inform and educate them about the real environmental impact and the benefits of plastic packaging products. We also work with communities on projects and campaigns, particularly those that have an environmental dimension, to demonstrate our awareness and support of environmental issues.”
Future developments for the sector?
“Advances in technology and better design means LINPAC Packaging is producing products which are lighter and smarter than ever before. We are a leading innovator in lightweighting - the weight of one of our food service containers is now less than a single sheet of office paper. Cutting weight without compromising performance or quality means we use less material in manufacture, reducing carbon miles and creating less waste.
“Developing and creating more products which have a sound environmental profile and which can be easily recycled post consumer is a key objective at LINPAC Packaging in the future.”
Biggest challenges the sector faces in 2011?
“Our challenge as a packaging producer is to continue to create innovative and effective products for our customers by using fewer raw materials and less energy. LINPAC Packaging is continually looking at how to operate leaner, smarter and in more intelligent ways to reduce our carbon footprint further and minimise the use of raw materials, energy and water.
“As more and more companies begin to think about the impact they have on the environment, we have to ensure that we are meeting our customers’ needs as their supplier. We have to be smarter in the way that we work so that we are providing the right product, at the right price, at the right time for the customer.
“Innovation in design is a key consideration and an ongoing challenge for us. LINPAC’s team of product designers are constantly looking at ways of getting the maximum strength from the minimum amount of polymer. We recognise that our continued success as a packaging supplier is implicitly linked with doing the most with the least and we understand that while food goods need to be protected to reduce waste and spoiling, they should not be over-packaged.
“We are aware of the environmental implications of packaging and consideration for what will happen to our products at the end of their life plays an important part in how they are designed. We need to ensure our packaging is fit for purpose and environmentally sound – our products have to be designed so that they can be easily recycled or, if they do go to landfill, that they do not give off any emissions.”
For further information about these products visit www.linpacpackaging.com