By Olivia Thomas
October 30, 2019

essentials of sustainable packaging | courses

Sustainability is an asset and an opportunity for your business. Do you have the knowledge to achieve your company’s goals?

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition created the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging training program to educate professionals about the top subjects in sustainable packaging, such as:

  • Designing for recovery
  • Bioplastics
  • Compostable packaging
  • Material health
  • Ocean plastic pollution

And more courses are being added each year!

Courses available on-demand online & in-person

The training program is designed for professionals and for whole teams in a company, such as sales, marketing, and executive leadership. No previous packaging knowledge is needed to benefit from this training program. By taking these courses, you will be able to understand how sustainability affects packaging decisions, and your company as a whole.

Developed by the SPC and taught by the SPC staff, the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging starts with a 5-part “Core Content” course that covers all major materials and a multitude of product sectors, diving into the sustainability considerations for a package’s entire life cycle: sourcing, design, use, recovery, and beyond.

The Core Content is complemented by the Essentials of Bioplastics, the Essentials of Sourcing Fiber, and the Essentials of Compostable Packaging, the Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution, and The Essentials of Material Health. Each of these courses unpack more advanced and nuanced considerations for their unique supply chains, environmental profiles, and recovery possibilities. 



Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content

  • Making Sustainability Part of Your Brand
  • Optimize Packaging Design
  • Design for Recovery
  • Source Sustainably
  • Planetary Boundaries

The Essentials of Bioplastics 

  • A family of different materials
  • Bioplastics myth busting
  • Sourcing and recovery considerations
  • Compare and contrast bio-based recyclable resins with compostable resins

The Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

  • Principles of Responsible Forest Management strategies
  • Sourcing and supply chain certifications for virgin fiber
  • How to integrate recovered fiber and recycled feedstock

The Essentials of Compostable Packaging

  • Considerations for compostable plastic and fiber packaging
  • Understanding residential and commercial composting access
  • Compostable packaging as a vehicle for food waste diversion
  • Fundamentals of compostable packaging testing and certification

The Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution

  • How ocean plastic pollution impacts the marine environment
  • Global waste management infrastructure challenges
  • Ocean and ocean-bound plastic as feedstock
  • Government and industry-led initiatives around ocean plastic pollution

The Essentials of Material Health

  • Public perceptions of material health in packaging
  • Regulatory and non-regulatory considerations for chemicals in packaging
  • Material health in the context of the circular economy
  • Tools to select safer alternatives and manage chemicals in the supply chain



The Essentials of Goal Setting

  • What is a Goal? – How goals are different from statements of interest 
  • Why Goals – Motivations and regulatory drivers for setting packaging goals 
  • Goal Setting – Understanding the scope and ambition of packaging goals
  • Sourcing Goals – Setting goals related to sourcing renewable or recycled content materials
  • Optimization Goals – Setting goals around material and volumetric efficiency and material health
  • Recovery Goals – Setting goals around end-of-life recovery of packaging
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