Responsible Packaging
Posted by David Burns | No comments | agree_icon Agree (2) | disagree_icon Disgree (3)
Responsible Packaging

Excessive packaging is a huge community problem, especially for local landfills funded by council rate-payers struggling to cope with unnecessary packaging. Singapore Airlines and Westpac are the latest corporates to demonstrate their ignorance when it comes to displaying their community waste responsibilies.

An example of excessive packaging was recently demonstrated by Singapore Airlines and Westpac Bank when unsolicitored mail was recieved at my residential address in March 2010 promoting a new credit card service. Westpac is generally known for its good sustainable stewardship values, however, as picture demonstrates above, not everybody at Westpac is engaged.

List of excessive packaging contents -

1. Outer cardboard box - total packaging weight 350 grams, dimensions (L: 260mm, W: 180mm, D: 45mm).

2. Inner cardboard box with printed logo - weight 100 grams, dimensions (L: 257mm, W: 177mm, D: 42mm).

3. Inner cardboard filler - grey colour, dimensions (L: 230mm, W: 200mm).

4. Inner cardboard envelope - printed grey/ blue colour, dimensions (L: 262mm, W: 225mm).

5. Return reply-paid enevope.

6. Promotional Invitation on a timber scroll - weight 100 grams, rollout dimensions (L: 360mm, W: 225mm).

7. Promotional Flyer - printed grey/ blue colour, dimensions (Foldout L: 630mm, W: 100mm).

8. Singapore Airlines and Westpac Platnium Credit Cards Application Form (A4 double sided printed page).

What was the purpose? Answer: A Credit Card application form.

Typical Lifespan from Mailbox to Garbage Bin? Answer: 5 minutes.

Is there a beter way? Answer: smart data bases and electronic mail.

Sustainable businesses manage product supply and packaging responsibilities by undertaking Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies as part of the design process. Life cycle assessment defines product effectiveness, raw materials, transport, emboddied energy & water, social impacts, environmental impacts including disposal, and determine the value for the producer and customer.

Singapore Airlines and Westpac can do much better to improve this dramatic example of excessive packaging.

Click here for more information on responsible packaging...


David Burns is a sustainability advisor & analyst,


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