By Olivia Thomas
September 10, 2019

the essentials of material health | course

The Essentials of Material Health

A new course developed by The Sustainable Packaging Coalition®

Part of the full Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Training Program

The Essentials of Material Health is an overview of how the materials used in packaging can affect human health and the environment, with an emphasis on how companies can take action to choose safer materials. The course highlights public perceptions of material health in packaging and examines how some companies are making changes in response to consumer awareness. Key terms are explained before discussing select regulations and legislation related to chemicals in packaging. Giving context to compliance, the course then delves into why a more proactive approach in selecting safer packaging materials may be beneficial to companies. The course also reviews examples and strategies for designing packaging with considerations for material health that support a circular economy. Finally, the Essentials of Material Health looks at tools companies can use to manage chemicals in their supply chains and select safer alternatives to hazardous materials.

Course Curriculum: 

  • Why Material Health? – Today’s regulations, trends, and risks affecting chemicals in packaging
  • Regulations & Beyond – Impacts and limitations of regulatory requirements
  • Lifecycle Thinking & Circularity – Material health in the circular economy
  • Tools for Action – Selecting safer alternatives and managing chemicals

Course length: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, the Learner will be able to:

  1. Define key terms like “green chemistry” and “Precautionary Principle”
  2. Distinguish between the meanings of “chemical hazards,” “risks” and “exposure”
  3. Recognize how, when, and where polymers in packaging affect human health and the environment
  4. Outline the steps involved in performing an alternatives assessment 

What learners are saying:

  • The course was interesting. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

The Essentials of Material Health is included in the online subscription to The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging.

From the course: 


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