• Gary Robinson

Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#10

March 4, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image - Fire scorched trees on alpine meadow, Glacier National Park, 7,600 feet

Week#10 of 2019

I hope this newsletter finds you well.  Welcome to March!  We are seeing some impressive global momentum building on advanced innovation in the field of Sustainability thus far in 2019.  It is quite inspiring to be part of such a progressive, global action.  Our hats are off to all that are taking bold leadership towards sustainable innovation. 

This week we will kick-off a brief introduction to Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA).  For those who are not familiar with LCA, it is a comprehensive, metrics-driven tool that enables developers to measure and compare environmental impacts of different packaging solutions.  Of course, it is available for applications beyond packaging, however packaging is the core focus of this newsletter.  At Synaptic, we did our first LCA in 1994 when we analyzed business choices between a rigid HDPE blow-molded bottle vs. a multi-layer flexible pouch.  Back then, we used a calculator, pen and paper, and a strong cup of coffee!  Now - highly sophisticated 'big data' IT systems crunch the math.  These emerging LCA tools will likely grow to be the backbone of our future economy, but we'll explore that in another blog.

The LCA tools are a very effective way to discretely compare, and measure, packaging solutions against key environmental metrics.  A similar analogy would be to compare performance statistics of different cars on a race track.  However, I will caution, that LCA currently only tells one part of a broader sustainability story.  I am a big fan of LCA, and support the growth and use, however - I advise clients to take the results as a data point and not as a wholistic absolute.  For future newsletter discussions, we will also explore how LCA is very susceptible to programing mistakes, and how the LCA results can be highly distorted for marketing benefit.  For today, the simple message on LCA is that it is a great tool, should be a key component in your decision making, however - make sure you have expertise involved in preparing the comparative analysis, and use the results as a discrete component in broader decision making context.

Have a great week everyone and enjoy the news articles below!

Packaging Sustainability//

ReThink Waste//


Emerging Energy//

Upcoming Trade Events//


4-6 March, Smithers Pira Sustainable Packaging, Chicago, IL

6-9 March, Natural Products West, Anaheim, CA

11-13 March, Plastics Recycling, Washington, DC

18-21 March, National Restaurant Association, Chicago, IL

24-26 March, Paper2019, Chicago, IL


1-4 April, BioCycle West, Portland, OR 1-4 April, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Seattle, WA 3-5 April, Paperboard Packaging Council, Cornado, CA 8-10 April, Smithers Pira, Specialty Papers, Berlin, Germany 9 -11 April, ICE International Converting Expo, Louisville, KY 17 - 19 April, Food Service Packaging Institute, Sonoma, CA 22-26 April, Materials Research Society, Phoenix, AZ

The purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate innovative thoughts and constructive dialogue through the lens of sustainability.  New subscribers can send an e-mail to the link below to sign-up. 

Contact Us