Consumer Packaged Goods & RetailSeptember 22, 2021

Planning for a Circular Packaging Economy

It’s been said that if Christopher Columbus had tossed a plastic water…

It’s been said that if Christopher Columbus had tossed a plastic water bottle into the ocean on his journey, that bottle could still be around today.  Each day in the US more than 60 million single-use plastic bottles are thrown away (nearly 22 Billion on an annual basis). With an average recycling rate of about 30%, most of these bottles end up in the environment…on roadsides, in landfills, waterways, or other areas where biodegradability could take up to 500 years or more.  This is certainly not a sustainable solution if we are to protect the planet. The CPG industry is in urgent need of finding an economically viable, sustainable packaging solution.

The good news is there are some amazing companies out there working on innovative solutions by leveraging the latest technologies.  New, digital tools are enabling leading CPG companies to begin robust planning for a circular packaging economy.

In actuality, using virtual twin technology, a package’s entire circular journey can be planned (and validated!) even before the first unit is physically produced.  Here are the key steps:

  • MAKE optimal material choices: virtual technology allows you to create material combinations with higher recyclability, biodegradability and durability. You can identify and plan material sourcing before and after consumer use and fully understand how material decisions impact quality, performance, sustainability and cost.
  • DESIGN the package: slash development time and materials by up to 50% with virtual tools. You can implement circular design principles and use lifecycle analysis to validate the sustainability of your designs.  Quickly design primary, secondary, tertiary and ecommerce packaging easily and quickly.
  • VALIDATE the package: Analyze packaging performance and test different materials virtually. Make quick changes to improve consumer usage and ease of disposal.  Virtually simulate the package’s durability and quality.
  • PLAN the package production: a manufacturing virtual twin enables you to build a more efficient plan for less waste and lower inventory. Exercise full visibility of the sourcing plan and eliminate bottlenecks before starting production to set yourself up manufacture right the first time.
  • OPTIMIZE the logistics journey: plan precise cargo placement to optimize space and truckloads with virtual optimization software. Validate your logistics plan and process to minimize the carbon footprint while mapping out the reverse logistics plan if needed.
  • DESIGN the consumer experience: understand regional recycling requirements and implement post-consumption guidance with packaging copy to enable consumers to play their critical role in the circular packaging economy.

Utilizing virtual twin technology gives the packaging ecosystem a platform to come together, tools to implement circular design principles and planning capabilities to make it all happen as efficiently as possible.  It’s now the ‘decade to deliver’ and time to shift towards a circular packaging economy.

Join Dassault Systèmes at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2021 taking place September 27-29. Stop by Booth #SU-8345 and SU-8444, and learn how to design, validate and make sustainable packaging faster – with the virtual twin.  Register here and receive a free exhibition pass from Dassault Systemes.

To learn more, watch our video; Creating Sustainable Packaging with Virtual Twin Technology, or download our e-book called A New Vision of Sustainable CPG Packaging.

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