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Sustainable packaging for footwear

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    Packaging must meet several functions. In first place, to protect the packaged contents. It is an extremely important element in the supply chain, distribution system, and finally the method of use or handling of the product. It also contributes significantly to a more secure and long-term use of the products. Despite this, packaging has a negative connotation in the general public perspective due to the huge accumulation of packaging waste on landfills.


    With regard to packaging, there is also the other side of the coin. Actually, packaging prevents the formation of additional massive amounts of waste, which may arise due to the rapid deterioration of food and the damage to goods during transportation or storage. Packaging also enables easier and cheaper delivery of goods to the consumer.


    Packaging manufacturing companies and companies who use packaging for their products will be less competitive in the future if they ignore the obviously increasing trend of the environmental requirements in product development. Therefore, the question arises how to tackle the planning, design, development, and deployment of environmentally friendly packaging. What are the criteria they should comply with?


    This unit is designed in such a way that the problem of packaging in relation to environmental protection in the footwear industry is presented in a comprehensive manner, from the basic to the wider aspect of its development. The purpose of this publication is also to provide guidance for the design and development of modern packaging, because the process of development without using environmental criteria is not sufficiently thorough.


    Unit gives to the reader comprehensive overview over the following chapters:
    -Definitions and purpose of the packaging
    -Packaging classifications (primary, secondary, tertiary packaging, packaging for dangerous goods)
    -Packaging materials (paper and cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, wood)
    -Packaging made from corrugated material (figure 1 and 2) as probably most important packaging material in footwear industry (structure of the corrugated board, flute structures, designing and printing of the corrugated material)
    -Key problems of packaging in connection with sustainability (packaging as waste and rational use of primary sources)
    -Analysis of environmental life cycle packaging (environmental life cycle assessment method, carbon footprint method)
    -Environmental design of packaging packaging eco-design (raw materials, colour, size and design, thickness, structure, labels, glue, prints, paints)
    -Design for a minimal amount of packaging dematerialisation (type and construction size of the packaging)
    -Design for recycling
    -Design reusable (returnable) packaging
    -Design for composting
    -Harmful substances in packaging and how to avoid them

    The concept of sustainable packaging development has become a worldwide trend. But, unfortunately, sustainability is very often neglected, and the economic aspects of packaging are given priority. During the planning and developing of new packaging, the companies should always make compromises between the following different aspects of packaging:
    -environmental (rational use of primary resources),
    -social (meet consumers expectations in terms of product protection, safety, handling, and information)
    -economic aspects (lower cost of distribution, storage, and sales and also the higher added value of the products)


    Here, the customers play a crucial role. If they do not accept the packaging as it is, a company must change its packaging development policy, if it wants to sell its products.


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