Your guide to information on packaging materials

The challenges that exist within the new product development process is balancing the functional and mechanical properties of the product-packaging system with the marketability and consumer acceptance of packaging through to understanding environmental impacts and incorporating design options that reduce waste and environmental impacts of the total life cycle.

It is therefore important to have access to relevant information on packaging materials. In order to meet this need, SPA has compiled an easy-to-use summary of commonly used packaging materials including polymers, metals and paper based. Useful for packaging technologists, brand managers, designers, environmental managers and policy makers, the Packaging Materials Selector features information on material characteristics, packaging applications and recycling and other environmental considerations (see example below).

Packaging material Polypropylene (PP)
Material characteristics
Rigid and flexible, tough, heat resistant up to 165oC, excellent chemical resistance, moderate barrier, oriented films.
Potato crisp bags, tubs, hinged caps, clear punnets, microwave ware, bottles, lolly wrap.
Raw materials Crude oil
Density (g/cc) 0.9
Embodied energy LHV (MJ/kg) 70.6
Recyclability Technically recyclable, PIW widely recycled, some Councils starting to collect rigid PCW PP at kerbside but limited due to low volumes, food residue contamination and limited capacity.
Recycling rate 6%
Recycled content Recycled content possible in non-food applications.
Landfill impacts Value of material lost.
Comments Properties can be modified to meet requirements.

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