Environmental Implications of Reuse and Recycling of Packaging

  • Shanthi RadhakrishnanEmail author
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


A major issue confronting the community and government is waste disposal. A considerable amount of waste is generated when consumers procure and use products. The disposal of waste has become a serious problem due to the increase in the number of consumers and high waste generation. According to the Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India (2000), approximately 0.1 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in India every day leading to almost 36.5 million tons/y. Many manufacturers and retailers are earnest in promoting their brands by the use of excessive packaging without regard to real human needs or environmental concerns. This has resulted in an enormous amount of waste, which calls for numerous waste-management policies. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are tools to minimize the negative implications of manufacturing and retailing on the environment. Design experts today create packaging solutions that consider the optimum use of raw materials and techniques as well as the use of recycled materials in inventory, which can in turn be reused, recycled, composted, or become a source of energy recovery. This chapter presents an overview of the impact of the industrial packaging supply chain on environment, the challenges facing environmentally conscious manufacturing, concepts underlying reuse and recycling of packaging, and the trends in green packaging. The environmental implications of the reuse and recycling of packaging were shown to be beneficial in case studies in terms of raw material, resources, cost, and reduction in landfills. Challenges regarding waste may be different in different countries, but the path to addressing the problems of the waste sector may be common. Evidence from case studies proves that ecologically sustainable concepts lead to savings in resources and have a positive effect on the environment giving a competitive advantage to firms. Prevention and reduction of waste at the source and circular global economy will be of primary importance for all countries to bring about radical changes toward greening the waste sector.


Environment conscious manufacturing Reuse and Recycling Green packaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fashion TechnologyKumaraguru College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia

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