Packaging Digest is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Medtronic’s device package stars for its user-friendly design

Medtronic’s device package stars for its user-friendly design
Medtronic’s AmeriStar-winning packaging for its Euphora balloon angioplasty devices features upgrades to the carton and internal configuration, to increase ease and efficiency of use.

Medtronic has developed a new customer-centric design after observing previous packages in actual use and talking with medical professionals to gain insight into how users’ core needs could be better met.

The medical device manufacturer earned a 2018 AmeriStar Award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals for its innovative package design of the Euphora family of its Next Generation Balloon Angioplasty devices.

While standard carton designs feature a sharp, exposed board edge that can cause paper cuts or ripped gloves on users’ hands, this new pull-shelf carton features a “chamfered” design—a symmetrical sloping edge—intended to simplify removing the product from shelves (see photo above).

Inside the carton, the Tyvek layer features two features intended to ease opening of the sterile product pouch: a thumb notch that enables the user to clearly determine the proper opening point, even in low lighting conditions; and a printed opening symbol, which gives the user a visual indicator to where the pouch should be opened.

Additionally, the manufacturer upgraded the “hoop” configuration holding the medical device inside the carton. Medtronic removed a small accessories pouch and restyled the layout to further optimize ease and efficiency of use. Medtronic says the carton design and configuration facilitate ease of identification and opening in medical environments, where efficiency and accuracy are vital.

What’s more, according to the manufacturer, the new design, ergonomic labeling and compliance charts (according to the manufacturer) all contribute to streamlined device preparation before procedures, leading to improved efficiencies in the medical environment.

The company also reported the new design offered environmental benefits, such as increased number of units per pallet and reduced CO2 emissions.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.


PackEx Montréal 2018 offers everything from design to manufacturing—concept to market—with valuable free presentations available throughout the event at Center Stage. See more suppliers, products, and networking opportunities to help you take your projects, company, and career to all-new heights. REGISTER NOW!

PackEx Montreal 

Digital Printing

Sweet diversity: Chocolate bars wrapped in 50,000 packaging design variations

Sweet diversity: Chocolate bars wrapped in 50,000 packaging design variations
Tony’s Chocolonely limited-edition chocolate bars wear 50,000 different wrappers across three socially-conscious varieties.

Eye-catching African-inspired packaging design is digitally printed to ensure that every Tony’s Chocolonely limited-edition bar wrapper is unique.

Having something personal means that it’s yours and yours alone. Personalization is a major trend tied intimately to this desire achieved through custom, one-of-a-kind-packaging. However, there’s another tack towards individualized variability when numerous packaging design variations are done using technology-based printing wizardry.

An exemplary landmark campaign that comes immediately to mind is Absolute, which in September 2012 released Absolut Unique, a limited edition promotion of nearly four million uniquely decorated bottles, each with a numbered label. The goal was "to make only one of each bottle, so every consumer can have their own unique product," explained Eric Näf, Absolut's director of packaging development (see Absolutely stunning, published January 2013). Other examples include Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch.

And it’s just not within reach of major brands, exemplified most recently when the same concept is reinvented for a totally different application: a limited edition of Tony’s Chocolonely premium, socially-conscious chocolate bars.

The brand has introduced a three-product themed line of limited editions yearly since 2011 as a way to help smaller retailers gain a competitive edge by offering special products. It’s the first time the Amsterdam-based, B-Corp certified company with United States offices in Portland, OR, brings its annual Limited Edition bars to the U.S.

Available while supplies last online and in select retailers in three varieties, the new Limited Edition bars celebrate all things caramel, unique and playfully vibrant design wrapped using chocolate bars that promote the brand’s mission to ban modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry. In fact, that mission is why the company was founded in the first place (read more about this in the End Note at the bottom).

But it’s the literally one-of-a-kind packaging that separates this edition from previous ones.

Design ties to cocoa bean source

The colorful, vibrantly patterned wrappers are based on three patterns inspired by African design—which points to the company’s cocoa beans’ source in West Africa—created with an algorithm that enabled the printing of some 50,000 different wrapper designs.

“The idea was to make it personal and unique, something that’s only for you and that no one else has,” Fleur Marnette de Vries, Tony’s Chocolonely product manager, tells Packaging Digest. “So not only it is a limited edition, it’s super-limited in how each wrapped bar looks.”

The project’s canvas was “our usual FSC paper that we use for our normal wrappers,” Marnette de Vries says, but the artwork applied to that packaging canvas was printed using an HP Indigo digital press operating with HP SmartStream Mosaic design software.

Handling the project was Wihabo, one of Tony’s Chocolates printing vendor partners from Holland.

“We used seven colors, all PMS colors” she says of the project. “The way it works is that you put a seed file with one or more designs and the system cuts out all the different edges and prints. You can make use of a specific zooming percentage or different angles, to make more print varieties.”

As with most projects, this was not without a challenge, which for the sheet-printed wrappers was “getting the right color combination in the printer—it could not print some colors together,” Marnette de Vries says.

Customer reaction was enthusiastic, according to Marnette de Vries. “The feedback we’ve heard is that consumers love the brightly colored packaging and find the wrapper design unique and special, saying things like ‘I’ve never seen anything like it!’”

The carefully formulated varieties are 28% Blonde Chocolate Caramelized Pecan, 32% Milk Chocolate Shortbread Caramel and 51% Dark Chocolate Cocoa Cookies Caramel.

The Limited-Edition bars are available in the U.S. at New Seasons, Cost Plus World Market, The Fresh Market, select independent retailers and online at for $5.99 per bar.

End Note: It’s worth noting that the brand’s mission to ban modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry is why it was founded in the first place, by the makers of the Dutch television program “Keuringsdienst van Waarde,” a program that provides insight into the production of food and other consumer products and attempts to uncover abuses.

The company not only wants to make their own chocolate 100% slave-free, but all chocolate worldwide, and buys the cocoa beans directly from partner cooperatives they work closely with in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. For more information on the company’s products and mission, visit the company’s website.


MinnPack 2018 (October 31 – November 1, Minneapolis) is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that brings you the latest in materials, automation, packaging and more. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Sustainable packaging tops best-read chart for September

Sustainable packaging tops best-read chart for September
Photo credit: momius -

We saw a clean sweep in September, with our top five articles of the month all related to packaging sustainability news and trends—from a cube-efficient square pizza to an A to Z overhaul of ecommerce packaging.

Based on page views at, here are the five articles our global packaging community found most interesting during the month of September 2018—starting with the fifth in line and ending with the No.1 article of the month (which I predict will also be the No.1 article of the year).

Thumbs up

5. 8 sustainable packaging hits of 2017

Talk about staying power…This is the seventh time our review of the best-read sustainable packaging articles in 2017 has appeared in our monthly “top articles” list this year. One reason for its popularity is its vast number of ideas and potential solutions for today’s sustainable packaging challenges.

Here are the sustainability stories you continue to find useful:

1. 5 exciting, emerging sustainable packaging materials to watch in 2016

2. How sustainable are biodegradable and plant-based plastics?

3. Are refill stations the answer to packaging waste?

4. Ahh…Coke refreshes its sustainable packaging strategy

5. Sustainable packaging is more important than ever

6. Is 100% recyclable flexible packaging possible?

7. McCormick’s recipe for packaging that’s more sustainable

8. First fully recyclable shampoo bottle made with beach plastic points to new plastics economy

NEXT: How flexible packaging trends are shifting and why

Flexible packaging

4. How flexible packaging trends are shifting and why

Packaging Digest wrote another chapter in the saga of flexible packaging’s meteoric growth in America with thorough insights on today’s trends from industry leaders up and down the supply chain.

Here are highlights from the experts:

“Our industry can and must do a better job of helping consumers see the benefits of plastics in the context of the total lifecycle environmental footprint.” — Jonathan Quinn, performance films market development manager, Nova Chemicals

“In the future, it is possible that all machines installed in a plant will be connected to a cloud system that will help them to improve their efficiency and performance.” — Raúl El-Fakdi, flexo brand manager, Comexi

“Continued work in using renewable resources is yielding new materials, and easier ways to use recycled materials make it more viable to increase the amount being used…” — Louis Piffer, senior sales engineer, Davis-Standard

“We also see a reduced demand for legacy large packaging format products as consumer demand shifts to private label offerings in smaller package formats.” — Tarun Manroa, evp and general manager, engineered materials division, Berry Global

“I see the biggest growth for SUP packages, and single-dose packaging in over-the-counter pharmaceutical—mainly due to convenience and safety of the single-dose unit.” — Troy Snader, svp, flexible packaging, Pro Mach

NEXT: Totino’s pizza and packaging: Square, hip and supply-chain optimized

Totinos square pizza packaging

3. Totino’s pizza and packaging: Square, hip and supply-chain optimized

Cube efficiency in packaging can add significant savings to shipments, which is what General Mills realized when it started making Totino’s frozen pizza in a square shape instead of a round one. It saw a 17% reduction in film and a 15% increase in the number of pizzas per pallet, which allowed it to use 42,000 fewer pallets and 700 fewer truck trailers.

It’s hard to tell why this article, which was posted in July 2016, had so many page views in September 2018. But the sustainability and efficiency lessons to be learned are just as relevant now.

NEXT: Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings

Food cans

2. Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings

Am I pushing it to categorize this as a sustainability-related article? I don’t think so when you consider the social and health/wellness aspects of sustainability.

Due to the vehement backlash against the controversial chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) used in plastic liners for metal food cans, can makers have been systematically replacing the liners with alternative materials, sans BPA. This conversion happened quietly over the years that it came as a surprise when the Can Manufacturers Institute announced early this year that at least 90% of today’s food cans have replaced linings that previously contained BPA.

So why did this article get so many page views seven months later? Because BPA is back in the spotlight with results from a multi-year research project by the Food and Drug Administration—the FDA CLARITY Study—in which the principal investigator concludes,“[i]n the study authors’ judgment of the results from the CLARITY-BPA 2-year core toxicology study, BPA did not elicit clear, biologically plausible, adverse effects…”

So…BPA is safe! It is! But somehow I doubt can manufacturers will go back to the old BPA-containing liners. What do you think?

NEXT: Amazon is on top of it…sustainable packaging for ecommerce, that is

Amazon SIOC box

1. Amazon incentivizes brands to create Frustration-Free Packaging

News about the Frustration-Free Packaging incentive program broke on Sept. 18 when Amazon sent letters to thousands and thousands of its vendors—product manufacturers selling to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. What did the letters say? To help reduce packaging waste and improve efficiency of ecommerce shipping for its vendors, Amazon will require that select products being sold and fulfilled by Amazon arrive in its fulfillment centers in certified packaging under its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program. Early adopters will receive a one-time credit; packages that aren’t certified by the Aug. 1, 2019, deadline will suffer an ongoing chargeback.

Within 24 hours of posting our article the day after the announcement, the story vaulted to the top for the month. The spike of page views created a chart that looked like the Washington Monument among the flatlands of D.C.’s National Mall.

Our follow-up piece, posted late that same week—“Packaging analysts applaud amazon’s new incentive program”—nearly made this top list, too. It was our No.8 article for the month of September.

If you haven’t already, take our quick poll to let us know what you think of the new FFP incentive program: CLICK HERE NOW. We really want to hear from you.


Packaging solutions come to Minneapolis: As part of the region’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event, MinnPack 2018—and the five related shows taking place alongside it—brings 500+ suppliers, 5,000+ peers and 60+ hours of education together under one roof. Register for free today.

Medical packaging revamp cures sustainability concerns

Medical packaging revamp cures sustainability concerns
By replacing polystyrene cushioning with cotton-fiber pads, OptumRx reportedly has improved the sustainability of its packaging materials for shipments of pharmaceuticals.

With a revamped shipping material design, OptumRx reportedly has become the first pharmacy care company to launch fully sustainable packaging for drug shipments. The upgraded packaging replaces polystyrene blocks with cotton-fiber pads, while providing temperature and physical protection for delicate medications in transit.

“Our priority is ensuring people get the high-quality medications they need, when they need them,” says Jon Mahrt, svp and COO, OptumRx. “Our new packaging ensures each shipment maintains the highest standard of quality and effectiveness, while reducing the environmental footprint of our medication home delivery services.”

The new packaging consists of natural cotton fiber pads, with material sourced by KodiaKooler, a company based in North Carolina. According to Mahrt, the KodiaKotton pads—certified by an independent third-party laboratory using ASTM test standards—can keep refrigerated medications between 2 and 8 degrees C during shipping; it also increases the previous 24-hour protection. Additionally, the material is biodegradable, compostable, reusable and recyclable.

Projected for use with approximately 4 million prescriptions each year, OptumRx predicts the sustainable container design will save nearly 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, 17 million gallons of water and 4 million kW hours of energy.

Mahrt says the new packaging fits in with the company’s goal of improving patient health in various ways.

“The environment plays an important role in the health of every community,” he says. “OptumRx is always looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact in our medication home delivery services.” Mahrt added the company’s sustainability efforts include increasing water and energy efficiency, streamlining recycling and waste management programs, and encouraging employees and partners to engage in environmental stewardship.

Mahrt says home delivery of medications and medical supplies is on the rise—and that’s a good thing. As consumers clamor for more convenient, cost-effective prescription medication options, he says, home delivery of drugs and medical devices fulfills those demands, even for patients living far from the closest corner drug store.

“Adhering to a treatment regimen is critical to achieving better health outcomes,” Mahrt says. “Home delivery is a proven way to strengthen health outcomes and save money for members and clients alike. People with chronic conditions are more likely to adhere to medications that are delivered directly to their homes, and higher medication adherence rates are linked to lower healthcare costs and better healthcare outcomes.”

The company started rolling out the updated packaging material in December 2017; since then, Mahrt reports, OptumRx has shipped more than 500,000 prescriptions with the sustainable solution. The company projects all packaging OptumRx uses for pharmaceutical home delivery will be recyclable by the end of 2018.

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.



Packaging solutions come to Minneapolis: As part of the region’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event, MinnPack 2018—and the five related shows taking place alongside it—brings 500+ suppliers, 5,000+ peers and 60+ hours of education together under one roof. Register for free today.

Smooth-edged PET food trays reduce leakers

Smooth-edged PET food trays reduce leakers
New environmentally-optimized PET food trays are suitable for meat, poultry, seafood, deli products and produce.

Patented design reduces leakers during production and transportation with world’s first patented, one-of-a-kind PET trays for packaged food.

A functionally superior line of food trays under the Roll Over-Wrap branding was launched in mid-September by Clearly Clean Products, LLC, South Windsor, CT. The new Roll Over-Wrap branded tray packaging is billed as the world’s only patented 100% recyclable, smooth-edge overwrap tray line. The PET tray’s proprietary, patented rolled edge offers a smooth surface to alleviate film tears of overwrapped film to reduce the risk of leakers during production and transportation.

The trays are also positioned as a better environmental option and more robust option—three times stronger—to expanded polystyrene trays for use by supermarkets, packaged food brands and packaging distributors. Appropriate for meat, poultry, seafood, deli products and produce, the specialized trays are available in stock sizes as well as custom versions in different sizes, thickness, shape and color. 

The trays also enable a seamless changeover from EPS trays for packaging production operations.

“The strong demand that our rapidly growing company is seeing for our trays is highly encouraging, not only for Clearly Clean, but also for the environment as foam trays take [centuries] to decompose,” says Mill Wallace, managing partner and the product’s inventor. “We are committed to sustainable packaging and look forward to additional product launches as we continue to expand our green product lines.”

Wallace responds to Packaging Digest’s additional questions about the innovative trays.

We’ve picked up on the flux in environmentally-driven changes in polymer preferences in food packaging. What are you seeing?  

Wallace: Clearly Clean is encouraged by the number of companies interested in exploring sustainable packaging solutions. Numerous citywide and countywide bans on PS—combined with consumer pressure and corporate commitment—are fueling this demand and accelerating the sustainability timelines of many companies. 

Millennials, particularly, are demanding it, and this is of utmost importance because they are fast becoming the largest working population and the largest living-adult population.  They will literally be making or breaking companies of the future.  We are hearing that foam PS in the food packaging market space will be gone in seven-to-10 years.  Our company is well positioned to provide the 100% recyclable PET, plug-and-play alternative to EPS trays.

Why is a rolled edge so challenging for PET and how did the company achieve this?

Wallace: A rolled edge in PET has been done for years in a circle—think drinking cups.  Our challenge was to find a way to roll an edge in a non-circular PET tray. It was not easy, but we did what others in the industry thought was impossible—and we hold the patents to prove it and protect it.

What kind of interest is there in this new offering?

Wallace: We are seeing huge interest from food processors, packaging distributors and grocery chains.  In fact, a number of customers are already successfully using Clearly Clean’s Roll Over-Wrap trays.  And we have multiple new customers in the process of testing our trays and expect our volume to increase exponentially.

Anything else of note to point out?

Wallace: There are three sustainable options to EPS food trays: biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.  Both biodegradable and compostable tray options generally require high-heat commercial compost facilities to degrade and very few communities are equipped to process those materials. A large percentage of the biodegradable and compostable packaging ends up in landfills with a significant single-use cost and no measurable positive impact to our environment. PET can be recycled again and again.  Of the three choices, recyclable is considered by many to be the most environmentally friendly option.

PET is also durable, hygienic and doesn't pose a health hazard by leaching chemicals into food—and provides a protective barrier to maintain product freshness.

For more information, visit Clearly Clean Products.


MinnPack 2018 (October 31 – November 1, Minneapolis) is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that brings you the latest in materials, automation, packaging and more. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Packaging analysts applaud Amazon’s new incentive program

Packaging analysts applaud Amazon’s new incentive program
Video screen shot of Hasbro case study on shows the different pack sizes and consumer opening times between Frustration-Free Packaging (left) and regular retail package.

Perhaps the biggest packaging news of the year—which broke Tues., Sept. 18—is Amazon’s incentive program and requirement for certified Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) for select products sold and fulfilled by Amazon. Initial public reaction from the industry has primarily been positive.

Packaging Digest also reached out to a half-dozen packaging pundits to get their expert opinions on Amazon’s new packaging requirements. They make a lot of good points and ask  interesting questions.

Brian Wagner, co-founder and principal, PTIS LLC: “We have worked with clients to develop holistic ecommerce and omni-channel packaging strategies. This fast-growing channel is driving and will drive packaging, automation and supply chain innovation, to cut waste and improve margins for all across the entire value chain. We also provide consulting advice, design and opportunities for Amazon FFP and SIOC [Ships in Own Container]. 

“Some thoughts on the new incentive program:

• Consumers will love it and should help to centralize waste for collection, so that is good.

• Amazon’s timing seems a bit aggressive, so we assume it will be phased in. 

• Directives like the Walmart Scorecard and item level RFID [radio frequency identification] set a bad precedence, and didn’t work. However, mandating concentrated liquid laundry detergent made a truly positive impact. Amazon’s directive is consumer and cost driven.

• This will likely be the “kickstart” that many companies needed to truly design packaging for the ecommerce channel. Many have been using the exact same package format they use in retail and simply let Amazon rebox the product.

• This could really have a dramatic change on package design—elimination of windows and cut outs, for example. Do you put the nice graphics on the inside of the box instead to delight the consumer upon opening?

• This could have a dramatic effect on Amazon’s shipping costs—no longer shipping a box in another box.

• There will be lots of pressure to get certified FFP based on the timing—labs will be busy!

• Timing could be tough—many packages have been designed for retail, but not the rigors of single-unit direct-to-consumer shipping. Impacts could be pretty large based on which categories are selected by Amazon.

• This is just the start. I can see this (Amazon’s ecommerce pack) becoming a standard package format in every company’s product portfolio as Amazon expands this to other categories. If you’re not impacted today, I’d take the time to start thinking about how you would achieve FFP certification and protect your product for direct-to-consumer shipping (which is likely for products and SKUs [stock-keeping units] over a certain size).

• Packages that are easier for consumers will generate positive reviews, and will ultimately lead to more package recycling.

• Be sure to use How2Recycle labeling to communicate to the consumer!”

Matt Dingee, co-founder and chief operating officer, OnPoint2020: “The Amazon news is a big step and I think will be a pivotal moment for brands and packaging in ecommerce. Although it has flashbacks to Walmart, I think it will have a more powerful outcome for two reasons. 

“First, the mindset will change for brands to truly meet FFP compliance. Brands that take this to heart will necessarily engage experts and packaging ideas from all over to meet the Amazon guidelines. During this process, brands will discover that there are many sustainability and business benefits beyond compliance. As a result, brand mindset toward packaging design for ecommerce (Amazon) will be elevated.

“Second, FFP is primarily of direct benefit to the consumer. So the outcome is not actually serving Amazon or some subjective metric, but the consumer directly. The brand now has an opportunity to improve packaging and product design for a customer ecommerce experience!”

Nina Goodrich, director, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and executive director, GreenBlue: “Amazon has shown that it is possible to approach packaging differently. I really applaud the focus on customer experience, reducing packaging waste and having the testing to insure the product is delivered to the consumer safely. It has redefined the ‘job that packaging is hired to do.’”

David Luttenberger, global packaging director, Mintel: “You drew a parallel between WalMart’s Scorecard and Amazon’s FFP certification program. I believe what Amazon is doing is very different and is being received by vendors in a totally positive light. Amazon is incentivizing CPG [consumer packaged goods] vendors and training them to create more environmentally responsible packaging, which in and of itself will save them money and create supply chain efficiencies. At the same time, it’s enabling them to retain proprietary branding while creating a more cost- and logistics-efficient system in which to sell and profitably compete.

“Mintel is now qualified as an APASS certified consultant, having gone through the training at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. It’s eye-opening to see the ISTA6 testing protocols Amazon has developed and to witness real testing in person. Amazon tests packages and products to the worst-case scenario, the outcome of which is two-fold. First, it ensures that a consumer will receive products and packages that are undamaged and which reflect the equity of the brand. That is critical to a successful ecommerce experience for the consumer. Second, it will significantly reduce costs to Amazon for damaged and returned goods, which in turn will help it keep its overall costs of fulfillment and distribution as low as possible.

“Finally, it’s interesting—and totally believable once you experience it first-hand—but Amazon considers itself to be a sustainability company, not an ecommerce retailer or logistics/distribution company. Everything it does reflects that mindset, and its package testing protocol is just one facet of a multi-faceted plan to prove that day by day, package by package.”

Jonathan Quinn, chair of AMERIPEN Ecommerce Working Group and market development manager, Nova Chemicals: “Ecommerce is a new distribution system. The distribution system for ecommerce packaging is much more dissipated, and less robust than what had been previously designed for retail distribution. With more touchpoints and less time in tertiary packaging, packaging may need to be reconceptualized to reflect these differences. Amazon’s packaging programs are reflective of the need to design for this new distribution channel.

“AMERIPEN recognizes the inherent value behind Amazon’s initiatives. Elements—like Ships in Own Container (SIOC), which focuses on consumer ease at opening, and an emphasis on recyclability—help initiate the process of systems thinking for packaging design.

“We caution, however, that while design incentivizes are a step in the right direction, there are other system challenges that need to be taken under consideration as we seek to incorporate sustainability into the design of a sustainable ecommerce packaging system. These approaches will require supply chain collaboration—not just amongst suppliers, converters and retailers but also with waste management services and governmental policy makers. Policies and programs related to access to recycling, material contamination, consumer shopping patterns and others all create impacts and unintended consequences. AMERIPEN believes that collaborative efforts to look across the system will help us anticipate and plan for the development of proactive solutions to address emerging ecommerce packaging challenges.

“Retail continues to struggle with many of the same challenges—refinements in sustainable packaging will continue—we certainly can’t expect easy sustainability solutions for ecommerce right away. But by having these conversations about sustainable packaging at the early onset of an emerging distribution channel, we can certainly hope to reduce the learning curve and develop expectations that sustainable packaging is a key tenet.”

Bob Lilienfeld, principal, Robert Lilienfeld Consulting, and editor and publisher of The ULS (Use Less Stuff) Report: “This initiative removes the key obstacle faced by Walmart’s Scorecard program, which put the onus on their buyers to add a complex and sometimes conflicting task to their primary role of maximizing gross margin per square foot of shelf space. Amazon has pushed its program closer to where the logical decision makers have influence: supply chain management.

“It will, of course, lead to unintended consequences for some suppliers, such as removal of theft and tamper resistant blister-type overpacks for ecommerce, while continuing both their use and additional expense with brick-and-mortar retailers. There will, of course, be many hitches and unforeseen issues, and it will be interesting to see how these are handled and resolved.”

But what do you think?

It’s great to get this kind of assessment from sustainable and ecommerce packaging experts. But Packaging Digest wants to know what you think too. CLICK HERE to take our quick poll now. We’ll report on results in the next week or so.



Packaging solutions come to Minneapolis: As part of the region’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event, MinnPack 2018—and the five related shows taking place alongside it—brings 500+ suppliers, 5,000+ peers and 60+ hours of education together under one roof. Register for free today.