As the global sustainable packaging market is projected to double to $170 billion by 2014, ISO begins work on international sustainable packaging standards. ISO is the International Standards Organization who oversee a widely used portfolio of ISO certifications.

Packaging Digest reported that representatives from the US, 11 European countries, China, Korea, and Japan met late last year to iron out the details. ISO aims to develop six standards for the sustainable packaging certification:

1. Source reduction
2. Reuse
3. Recycling
4. Energy recovery
5. Chemical recovery
6. Composting and bio-degradation

After the six standards are finalized, a seventh standard will outline requirements for using the six standards. Final draft is expected to be completed by ISO sometime in 2012.

Although many major companies have resisted sustainable packaging initiatives in the past, citing the higher costs of implementing new packaging processes as the biggest deterrent, those that have persevered have typically seen dramatic savings and the disposal of far less packaging waste. A key misconception is the belief that higher costs are  associated with sustainability efforts.

According to a 2007 survey by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Packaging Digest magazine, 73% of 1,255 respondents stated that their companies were emphasizing sustainable packaging. In doing so, companies aimed to minimizing their carbon footprint through initiatives related to transportation, alternative fuels, and sustainable packaging.

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