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By Eric Stefan Kandelin Koons :-

The Effect of COVID-19 on the Consumer Perspective of Packaging

The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak has caused many people to reevaluate priorities in their lives. One main priority that has arisen is the public’s awareness of their health and importance of protecting themselves and their family. One study found that 62% of families are actively concerned about contracting coronavirus [1].

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What is the Best Packaging Material to Protect against the Spread of Coronavirus?

In these times SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. The impacts can be seen in almost every industry, including packaging. COVID-19 is spread through bodily fluids, like respiratory droplets, which can be transferred to surfaces that come in contact with multiple people. It may be possible for COVID-19 to be contracted by touching a surface with the virus living on it and then touching one’s own mouth, nose, or eyes [2,4]. This is particularly a concern for packaging, as products transfer between multiple people and are continually in use. This begs the question: what is the best packaging material to use in the time of COVID-19? While there is no concrete, guaranteed answer, aluminum and tinplate have shown promising qualities in multiple ways. 

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Sustainable Supply Chains from Production to the Store 2/2

Optimizing a supply chain for sustainability is an efficient way for companies to reduce their environmental footprint while increasing long term profits. By 2025 almost two billion people are expected to become global consumers, a 75 percent increase over 2010. This will require increased transport within supply chains, ultimately causing more greenhouse gas production. Sustainable supply chains focus on improving efficiency throughout the entire process, with a strong focus on reducing waste/CO2 production and improving communication. These waste products directly contribute to global warming, which is a worldwide issue leading to a host of further problems. In the metal packaging world a few key components that are focused to improve sustainability are overall production efficiency, location raw materials are sourced from, transportation, and sales. Companies that focus on sustainably optimizing these aspects of their supply chain can expect to see a host of effects relating to their company cost, product cost, and environmental impact.

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Sustainable Supply Chains from Production to the Store 1/2

Sustainable supply-chain optimization is the process of ensuring that all aspects of the supply chain, from manufacturing to sales, are being done in the most optimal and energy efficient way [1]. This is an integral part of any manufacturing company and is especially true in the metal packaging industry. In the past metal packaging has been seen as an energy intensive and non-emissions friendly process, but this is no longer true. With an optimized supply chain and higher rates of recycling metal packaging is actually a more carbon emission friendly process than plastic packaging. A sustainably optimized supply chain produces 1.87 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of aluminium and 2.2 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of plastic produced [2,3]. This is an easy way for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint to make a change. For a supply chain to be sustainably optimized there are a few areas that need to be reviewed: overall production efficiency, the metal packaging supplier, transportation, and sales.

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Metal Packaging - How much CO2 is released during the Recycling Process

Energy is used in every process on earth, from moving an arm to building a skyscraper. The energy for these processes comes from different sources, like from eating food for processes in the human body and burning fossil fuels to power construction. In addition to processes requiring different types of energy, they also require different amounts.

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Importance of Packaging Regulation For Perishables

Perishable products are described as goods that have a short lifetime or easily deteriorate. This includes things like fresh foods, dairy products, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals [1]. This is important to keep in mind when designing packaging for perishables as they have a larger risk of spoiling than non perishable products. Furthermore, perishable products are typically consumed or used on the body, so they regularly come into contact with sensitive areas. These issues lead to perishables posing real health risks for consumers when they are improperly packaged. Governments work to prevent these health risks by implementing regulations on the requirements for packaging, storage, and shipping of perishable products.

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The Future of Packaging

The opinions of consumers in the United States and Europe will have a large effect on shaping the future of food packaging. In the U.S. over 50% of people say that one of the most important factors for packaging is convenience. Additionally, over 90% of people believe that healthy eating habits are important to having a long life, 70% of people try to eat healthy every meal, and 60% of people realize when they aren’t eating healthy and would like to improve [1]. This increased awareness of how food and health are related is a big change from the fast food obsessed USA of the past. These trends will undoubtedly influence food packaging as consumers continue to look for convenient and healthy food options.

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Finding the Perfect Food Packaging

There are many factors that go into creating food packaging. Creating an acceptable package takes a lot of work and creating the ideal packaging for a product takes a huge amount of time. The design process needs to consider both design and non-design factors, along with who the intended consume is and any unique specifications for the product. Additionally, producers should be versed in government regulations for where the product will be sold. The most important regulations have to do with product labeling and ability to protect the product from contamination. The European Union and USA have strict guidelines for these topics and should be reviewed prior to packaging production [1,2].

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Use the 'Metal Recycles Forever' Logo to drive your turnover

The Metal Recycles Forever Logo is designed to be used on tin and aluminum packaging. It is a small logo created by the organization Metal Packaging Europe to promote the use of recyclable metal packaging. When used on packaging it certifies that the package is designed with recyclable and sustainable properties in mind. It provides consumers with a visual symbol to acknowledge that the product package they are purchasing can be recycled and hints that the company using the package is environmentally conscious [6].

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