Packing guide released for the digital age

09th March 2012 - Fine Cut

The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) is releasing a best-practice packaging guide for internet merchants.

INCPEN is doing so not only to ensure that customers receive their online goods in perfect condition, but also to encourage retailers to be as efficient as possible with their resources.

It argued that some materials are used in too great a quantity. They often arrive in over-sized, yet under-packed, containers, Packaging Europe reports.

Jane Bickerstaffe, director of INCPEN, said: "Companies have to rise to the challenge of identifying packaging that is appropriate for delivering goods via a number of different distribution systems to retail outlets as well as directly to consumers at home."

The scheme is being developed in partnership with local authority Trading Standards officers and comes at the same time as Climate Week 2012 begins. Although packaging's most important role is to keep goods in pristine condition between factory and user, packaging also contains important information; often emblazoned on printed labels.

However, the resources required to make the packaging still account for around a tenth of those used in the actual packaged good.

INCPEN says that packaging optimisation isn't just about being environmentally-friendly. It can also "stimulate genuine cost savings for businesses, enhance packaging performance and increase brand reputation," according to an introductory scheme statement at

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