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The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has released a comprehensive guide that aims to standardize the way companies measure progress in their packaging sustainability efforts. There are eight performance categories identified in the document; one of which is Material Use, which looks into factors like usage of renewable or recycled source materials.
The guide, called Sustainable Packaging Indicators and Metrics Framework Version 1.0, is available here.
The SPC defines Renewable Material Use as the “ratio of renewable material (virgin and recycled) used to total material used in substrates, packaging components, or units of packaging.” ASTM D6866 is identified as a guide for measuring renewability of bioplastics.
The metric for Renewable Material Use is “percent of total material used that is renewable material per functional unit of substrate, packaging components, packaging, or time.” Examples are (1) percent total material used over metric tons of substrate, (2) percent total material used over 1000 units of packaging, and (3) percent total material used per year (based on production rate).
Renewable Material Use is a supplemental indicator in the Metrics Framework as it provides a more specific or detailed measure of the core indicator Total Material Use.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a working group consisting of around 200 companies across the packaging supply chain. It is a project of GreenBlue, a non-profit organization working with the private sector to develop practical design and business opportunities implementing sustainability.