From the information we receive from the editorial staff from the European Commission, we know that, in just a few years, there will be much stricter mandatory rules on the relationship with the environment. From this perspective, the application of the concepts of sustainability in the area of ​​packaging is one of the most acute concerns, knowing that much of the waste of the modern world comes from this area. A model for Romanian companies can be represented. We emphasize that, for the dairy sector, Australia has designed a national plan for the generalization of recyclable materials for packaging, in question being the use of paper and cardboard.

Principles of a national program

At the end of 2012, The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) developed a national strategy to implement the concept of sustainability in the dairy industry in that country, especially in the packaging area. In this sense, the Land of Kangaroos opted for the generalization of cardboard packaging, setting up the Australian Packaging Convenant, a professional organization designed to standardize, at least at the concept level, the application of new decisions.

The idea of ​​adopting paper as the main packaging material for dairy products has emerged according to several considerations. First of all, the outstanding technological advances in the field were taken into account. Then, both the possibility of using paper from existing waste and the recycling of new packaging. Last but not least, the rate of natural destruction of these packages was taken into account, much more advantageous than in the case of other materials, such as plastic or glass. And finally, the ecological impact was argued in favor of the decision.

The following imperatives were set out as guidelines for the new policy:

– Permanent focus on increasing the importance of sustainability;

– Overcoming the current stage in which manufacturers are less willing to accept the implications of the concept of sustainability and the role of the packaging industry in preserving the environment.

– Consideration of paper as the main material on which to make packaging for dairy products.

Cardboard, the most environmentally friendly

Decision makers in Australia, along with packaging industry experts, see paper as, at least from a dairy perspective, the key to maintaining a clean ecological chain. At the same time, the impact of this material on the food safety chain is recognized, in order to ensure this primordial condition, the latest and most advanced technologies are accepted.

At the same time, by using cardboard (paper, as a basic raw material), the social impact that such packaging can have is recognized, as well as the impact on the environment. These advantages lie in the immediate reuse of the packaging used, as well as in the reduction of the amount of wood that must be processed in order to obtain the cartons.

To implement the new strategy, the action of all those involved will focus on:

-Creating a design that incorporates from the start both the idea of ​​recycling, food safety and convenience in handling by consumers, by using a minimum of energy and resources.

-Optimizing packaging from the point of view of the concept of sustainability.

-Permanent collaboration with the authorities, the business community, and retail, to ensure the recycling of packaging.

To implement this strategy, the Australian authorities will closely monitor the work of milk processing companies, packaging manufacturers and the way in which the recycling chain operates, in order to make it more efficient. In this sense, the legislation has been amended since December 2011, everything has to be carried out according to the new requirements.

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