CLEARWATER, Fla. — DuPont's head of packaging called on industry leaders to think about the value that packaging can provide after it serves its main purpose.

“The packaging industry has long focused on reducing to the minimum necessary packaging. But this is not enough - we can do more through innovation,” William F. Weber, vice president and general manager of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, said at the Packaging Strategies CEO Summit in Florida.

Through innovating thinking and designs, and collaboration within industries, packaging waste can be eliminated. Along with the value that packaging provides for preventing food waste and protecting products, packaging has the potential to provide additional value when it's disposed of.

Rather than being condemned to landfills, packaging can be designed to be recycled, used in waste-to-energy operations or composted. What companies must do is find ways to integrate those uses into their products.

Weber also outlined three key actions that must happen to assist sustainable packaging developments: new technology to enable broader recycling, standard measurements and reporting metrics that communicate the environmental footprint of packaging products and the recommended end-of-life disposal methods, and a cap-and-trade approach for market-based greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

Compostable cup - photo CC license by tomeppy