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French R&D initiative fosters eco packaging design

By Katie Nichol , 20-Nov-2009
Last updated on 28-Jan-2010 at 14:26 GMT

A French research and development project to help foster the design of environmentally-friendly plastic packaging has been initiated by Alcan Packaging Beauty.

Project Thalia unites ten manufacturers across the plastics packaging industry and two research laboratories.

The initiative is also supported by competitive clusters Plastipolis and the Association of Industries and Agro-resource (IAR), and is receiving €4 million in investment from local and national government.

Commitment to sustainability

Alcan Packaging Beauty said that its commitment to sustainable development, together with the fact that the beauty market is becoming increasingly concerned by environmentally responsible packaging, led them to develop a project that would facilitate eco-design research.

The initiative hopes to encourage the development of eco-friendly packaging by combining new, adapted materials with designs that respect the technical and functional demands of a product while benefiting the environment.

This will be achieved through the means of an ‘eco-conception toolbox’ providing knowledge of materials and their limits and a Life Cycle Assessment tool for environmental assessment, said Alcan

Adaptable sustainable solutions

Each company involved in the initiative can adapt the sustainable solutions that arise from the research to their own uses.

“The idea was to gather main actors of the plastic industry working for different markets, that had the same needs in terms of new material and eco-design but not the same purpose and use for final products,” Alcan Packaging Beauty’s Innovation and Development manager, Nicholas Thorne told CosmeticsDesign.

Investment for the future

Project Thalia represents an investment for the future, said Thorne. He added that as well as allowing the plastics industry to be more dynamic on the eco-design subject, it would also make them more attractive to multi-sector buyers concerned with environmental sustainability, therefore increasing revenue and helping to preserve thousands of jobs within the industry.

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