Sustainable packaging approaches for current waste challenges
Author(s)Cheng, Karen,S.M.Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
MetadataShow full item record
Packaging plays an essential role in protecting a product from damage, attracting consumers to purchase a product, and facilitating storage and consumption. Yet its appreciation and value is quickly eroded once the product is purchased and/or consumed and the package becomes waste. With the passing of China's National Sword policy in 2018, post-consumer materials recycling markets are threatened and resources are not being recovered due to high contamination rates. The development of new packaging material has surged in recent years but has not corresponded with development of the necessary recycling infrastructure. Consumers want to recycle but are confused about how to most effectively do so. Packaging continues to consume our finite resources and pollute our terrestrial and marine environments. This research takes a systems approach to understanding today's emerging waste challenges and identifies key obstacles that society should collectively solve. High impact opportunity areas include alignment amongst all key stakeholders, establishing standardized signage and labels, increasing consumer education, and tackling difficult-to-recycle materials through scaling up technology, enacting policy, providing materials alternatives with corresponding infrastructure, or redesigning packaging.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 61-65).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.