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Glass - the ideal packaging.

Glass - The Ideal Packaging

Glass has long been hailed as the ideal packaging and in the light of current environmental interest this viewpoint has gained greater credence as glass is the packaging material that is truly environmentally safe. Despite the pre-eminence of glass, the packaging debate is far from over, with manufacturers of a variety of materials all claiming to have found the ultimate solution to satisfy environmental, consumer and legal issues. Yet glass fulfils an all-embracing role as the total packaging medium; from filling through to retailing and finally to consumption.

Also it is ideally placed to fulfil all the environmentally safe packaging criteria: Glass is minimal, reusable - and the only material which is truly multitrip - and recyclable. Indeed it is repeatedly recycled with no loss of its original quality, purity, or material. Also it is perfectly reusable for its original purposes being in no way down-graded. But, for glass to be entirely reused consumers have to be willing to dispose of it in such a way that it can be recycled, and they must be provided with facilities to feed the glass back into the recycling chain.

Recycling, however, is not the only solution. Although, in many instances, recycling is a cost effective means of saving energy and resources, reusable packaging significantly reduces the need to use additional raw materials and energy. For manufacturers of both packaging and branded products in the future will need to balance the equation between recycling and reuse. Whichever route is chosen only the glass packaging industry satisfies both of these demands. Being chemically stable and non-reactive it can be used for a wide variety of foods and drinks. It does not contaminate or taint its contents, no matter how long it is in contact with them, retaining product integrity and extended shelf life.

Glass forms an impenetrable barrier between the product and the outside world, preventing oxygen and other gaseous ingress and moisture engress. Besides its inherent characteristics glass is perceived by the consumer to impart a quality image to the product it contains, combining visual appeal with a desirability often denied by other packaging mediums.

Another attribute is that glass can be used repeatedly, providing it is sterilized before refilling. The majority of other packaging materials are single trip. This point is particularly important considering the growing shortage of waste disposal sites.

With the spotlight firmly focused on environmentally acceptable products, glass's future looks bright. Not only is it ecologically sound, but the consumer has begun to take on board the recycling message and is taking advantage of the available facilities.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Economic and Industrial Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Pakistan; Industry
Author:Kamal, Syed Mujahid
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Words:430
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