Life Cycle of Sustainable Packaging - Book

Forthcoming with Wiley 2022. This book is the first entire compilation of the material that we have been developed and used to teach the development of sustainable packaging systems.

Life Cycle of Sustainable Packaging: From Design to End of Life 

Rafael Auras, Susan E. M. Selke, Available from Wiley, Amazon, and others. 

Modern society cannot be conceived without packaging. Packaging has made possible achievements, such as extended food preservation, global and daily trading, and assistance in disaster relief environments. However, a throw-away society and a lack of waste management infrastructure have created an unsustainable situation for packaging worldwide, becoming excruciating in low- and middle-income economies where the collection and management of packaging are scarce or insignificant. The journey of this book started as we were developing the content for teaching the role of packaging in our society and its impact to the environment from the design to its end of life. First, through more than twenty years of conducting research on about the environmental footprint of packaging systems. Second, through many years of Sue's teaching Packaging and the Environment at the School of Packaging, MSU and later and until now of Rafael's more than ten years of teaching Packaging for Sustainable Development. On this journey, we have seen an enormous transformation about packaging and its challenges for fighting hunger, improving nutrition, and delivering medicines worldwide as well as increasing concern about the mismanagement of packaging at the end of life. Therefore, throughout the years, we have embraced a life cycle approach to teach packaging design as a service and a tool for sustainable development. As part of this concept, we evaluate the impact of packaging by quantifying its environmental footprint indicators using life cycle methodologies.

This book is the first entire compilation of the material that we have been developed and used to teach these concepts, and we want to share with you to help us mentor the next generation of packaging, food, material, and environmental professionals so that they can be part of conceiving the future circular economy of packaging. None of this work was created in isolation, so we want to thank all our students and colleagues throughout several decades for lively discussion and for helping us on improving this content. A general table of content of the book is provided below. 

Table of Contents


1- The Role of Packaging in Sustainable Development

2- Design Thinking: The Packaging Design Process

3- Packaging in the upstream and downstream supply chains

4- Pollution & Risk Management

5- Soil Pollution

6- Water Pollution

7 - Air Pollution

8- Global Climate Change

9- Life Cycle Assessment 

10- Municipal Solid Waste

11- Reduction

12- Reuse

13- Recycling

14- Aerobic and Anaerobic Biodegradation

15- Incineration of Municipal Solid Waste with Energy Recovery

16- Landfill

17- Litter and Marine Pollution

18- Keeping in Perspective