Short of an ice cream cone or other pleasure ephemera, packaging has the shortest consumer life-span of all the goods we purchase. Between manufacturing and disposal, packaging is currently hard at work depleting our resources and polluting our planet. Some people in the packaging industry are striving to turn it toward sustainability and the Greener Package Database is one of the tastey fruits of their labor.
Presented at GreenerPackage.com (from the publishers of Packaging World) the database is currently a betabase while it is being populated by enough vendors to make it a packaging designer's first choice for material specification. By the end of the month, GreenerPackage.com expects to launch the front end of the database so that designers, specifiers and purchasers will be able to search through a large number of materials which are more sustainable than the common petro or virgin paper fare. To list a material, a supplier needs to answer 12 sustainability questions and has the option to combat greenwashing by submitting the claims for third party review. The third party approval status will soon, I believe, become an entry-level necessity.
In one of those encouraging synergies that is actually the result of a lot of hard work (or at least a good idea) any third-party-reviewed materials are also visible in the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Modeling Software.