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Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET©)


Background

The proposed strengthening of Australia’s National Packaging Covenant (NPC) to include key performance indicators and targets will require business in all industry sectors to increase their commitment to reducing packaging’s environmental impact. In addition, the current updating of Australia’s Environmental Code of Practice for Packaging (ECoPP) will provide improved guidance on the role and importance of eco-design within the packaging supply chain. The Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA) has identified gaps relating to the knowledge, selection, design and use of sustainable packaging materials and the need for credible, business-ready tools to enable packaging environmental decision making. To address this SPA in partnership with industry is developing PIQET© – the Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool.

PIQET© aims to quickly provide credible environmental performance indicators to support decision making in defining company packaging development and innovation strategies, selecting materials for packaging re-design or packaging innovation, and specifying packaging for procurement of incoming goods.PIQET will be an on-line tool that considers all levels of packaging with an emphasis on environmental factors as well as including their anticipated functional performance and social indicators such as litter and consumer convenience. Through direct and up to date data links with industry practices and performances, PIQET© will enable identification of opportunities for environmental impact improvement and support NPC Action Plans and the ECoPP.

 

Research methodology

We are seeking input and support from industry to ensure that the tool will be relevant and useful. It is envisaged that those involved in new product development within the packaging supply chain and in procurement tenders will use PIQET to assist them in defining company packaging strategies, selecting materials for packaging re-design or packaging innovation, and specifying packaging for procurement of incoming goods.

We anticipate that the design of PIQET will include:

  • Requiring the user to specify functionality, cost and material quantities
  • Providing a link to company packaging policies and strategies
  • Providing environmental impact information (e.g., life cycle assessment) on material and process selection
  • Providing information on the recyclability and recycling rates of packaging materials
  • Allowing for scenario modelling
  • Assisting in the sound decision making of new and existing packaging system design

PIQET is proposed to be an on-line tool and will consider all levels of packaging and different product categories and will allow for assessments of incoming raw materials packaging systems and outgoing product packaging systems of an organisation.

 

Current status

SPA is seeking partners for investment in this project.  A prospectus and business plan are currently being written.  If you would like to receive a copy please contact Karli (details below).

The PIQET project began in November 2004 with a PIQET Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) being established consisting of food brand-onwer companies. The IAC meet reguarly throughout the project to provide feedback to the research team. A prototype Excel based version of PIQET will be completed in August 2006 and then an on-line software tool will be developed to be completed mid 2007.

PIQET is currently funded through the following company sponsors: Simplot Australia, Masterfoods Australia New Zealand, Cadbury Schweppes, Nestle Australia and Lion Nathan.

Funding has also been secured from Sustainability Victoria.

In April 2006 we were successful in receiving two Federal government funding grants:
* The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts as part of their Information Technology Online Program (ITOL) http://www.dcita.gov.au/ie/ITOL/previous_itol_rounds/round_14
* Department of Environment and Heritage

PIQET Update

 
       
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