Elucidating the Indirect Contributions of Packaging to Sustainable Development: A Terminology of Packaging Functions and Features
2016 (English)In: Packaging technology & science, ISSN 0894-3214, E-ISSN 1099-1522, Vol. 29, no 4-5, 225-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Packaging has great potential to contribute to sustainable development through its functions. Previous research has indicated a need for increased knowledge among consumers, suppliers, authorities and media of how packaging functions and features influence sustainable development. Previous research also shows the need for a common terminology of packaging functions and features in order to facilitate and improve communication and understanding in development and decision processes. This conceptual paper sets out to identify, collect, analyse and systemize packaging functions and features and evaluate them based on their indirect contributions to sustainable development. The systemized functions and features are expressed in generic terminology. Three clusters of packaging functions were identified from the literature: protect, facilitate handling and communicate. Nineteen packaging features were also identified. They were grouped under the three functions and elaborated based on their indirect contributions to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. Fourteen potential positive indirect effects were identified including decreased product waste, reduced risk for human health hazards, increased handling and transport efficiency. Decreased product waste was generated by 13 of the features and was thus the most frequently appearing. Reducing waste is thereby indicated to be a manifold matter, but also one of great potential. The proposed terminology can contribute to an increased understanding of how packaging can actually contribute to sustainable development. In a theoretical context, this paper attempts to complement earlier work in sustainable packaging development by its emphasis on the indirect contributions of packaging to sustainable development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, no 4-5, 225-246 p.
sustainable packaging development, packaging functions, packaging features, indirect effects of packaging, literature review
Research subject Environmental and Energy Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42615DOI: 10.1002/pts.2197ISI: 000375104800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42615DiVA: diva2:933189