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Taking Sustainability to the Next Level: New AMERIPEN Brochure Tackles Both Packaging and Products

Challenges Industry to Adopt Broader, Holistic Approach

WAKEFIELD, Mass. Feb. 21, 2013 The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) urges the packaging industry to think more broadly about the role that packaging plays in the total system that it supports, in developing strategies and programs to reduce waste. Rather than focusing on packaging weight reductions, AMERIPEN promotes a more comprehensive approach that considers the combined economic, environmental and social impacts of both packages and the products they contain.

In support of this approach, AMERIPEN has published a short brochure entitled “Enhancing the Sustainability of Products and Packaging,” which can be downloaded free of charge from the organization’s website.

“Often the first place companies go when implementing sustainability strategies is to look for ways to reduce packaging. While that seems like an obvious place to start, it doesn’t take long to realize that reducing or minimizing packaging can actually cost more than it saves,” said AMERIPEN President Gail Tavill. “The least sustainable thing we can do is to reduce the performance of the package to the point that it no longer protects the product, or fails to deliver the functionality intended by producers and expected by consumers.”

“AMERIPEN has taken the position that true sustainability of the system requires us to look beyond the package and to consider the product, the supply chain through which it travels, and how well it functions for its ultimate purpose. From this perspective, we should be thinking more about goals to optimize packaging, not minimize it,” Tavill concluded.


The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) works to improve and promote the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of packaging through increased material recovery rates, better packaging design and materials selection, and public awareness. The organization engages with thought leaders throughout the packaging industry ‒ including representatives of trade associations, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies ‒ to facilitate relevant research and identify key data and standards to advance the organization’s mission.

AMERIPEN efforts are based upon a philosophy of sound science. It welcomes companies that support the philosophy of a collaborative trade and industry organization, active and cooperative issue resolution, and material and packaging system neutrality. For more information, visit


AMERIPEN, the AMERIPEN logo, and The Power of Packaging in Balance are registered trademarks of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment.


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