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There is a lot of action and conversations taking place regarding sustainable packaging. Companies continually search for green options in order to commit to an environmentally friendly product. We all hear the terminology everyday but do we all really know what it all means? Let us take a moment and clarify some of these words and phrases.

Sustainable Packaging – Sustainable packaging concentrates on the use of life cycle inventory and assessment. It should reduce the environmental impact and footprint.

Greenwashing – Ugh! This happens more often than we would like to hear. Greenwashing is the act of giving misleading information to attempt to make companies appear to be environmentally friendly.

Circular Economy – simply, a circular economy represents ridding of a linear economy and making it a restorative or circular economy. It focuses its model on economic, social, and environmental production and consumption. The goal is to use recycled and sustainable resources to reduce waste that would be harmful to our planet.

Molded Fiber – Molded fiber or molded pulp is a packaging material that is made from either recycled wood material or plant cellulose fibers. It is used for packaging inserts, food service as well as the medical industry.

Recycle – Processing materials that would otherwise be discarded and making them into a new product.


Bio-based material – These are materials that come from renewable resources such as sugarcane or corn.

Compostable – If an item is compostable, it can biodegrade in either a home compost or industrially managed facility.

Downcycling – This term refers to when an item is recycled into a totally different item. For example, a PET plastic bottle may be recycled to be used for carpeting or clothing.

Closed Loop Recycling – This is when a product is recycled back into the same product. For example, a glass container is recycled to be made into a glass container.

Global Warming – Caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants causing an increase in temperature of the earth’s atmosphere.

Be Aware of Greenwashing

These are just a few of the most popular terms being used when referring to eco-friendly products for packaging. Do not be fooled by misleading claims!