Industry Outlook

“Smart Packaging” Tool Now Available to Toy Association Members

Is Your Product Packaging Eco-Friendly? “Smart Packaging” Tool Now Available to Toy Association Members

contributed by The Toy Association

Did you know that one-third of waste generated in the U.S. comes from packaging?

The Toy Association has unveiled a new member benefit to allow toy companies to determine the environmental impact of their product packaging designs. Working with The Walt Disney Company, Association members will now be able to use its Smart Packaging Initiative (SPI) – an online design tool that helps improve the sustainability of toy packaging and create a better experience for consumers. A November 8 webinar will provide toy companies with in-depth details on the tool, including instructions for access and a step-by-step guide for utilizing the platform to design smart packaging and compare their packaging’s environmental score against industry benchmarks. The webinar is open to all toy industry professionals.

“The tool determines the environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle of a package – from recyclability potential to carbon footprint to product-to-package ratio,” explained The Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, who worked closely with Disney to adapt the tool for Association members. “Ultimately, it serves as a useful resource for companies to compare the environmental impacts of different designs to help guide their decisions, understand how each packaging component affects their score, and anonymously benchmark their performance against industry peers.”

In a nutshell, companies use the tool to enter data, including product information, packaging dimensions, and material information; answer design for environment (DfE) questions; and receive a detailed score on their packaging’s environmental performance. Packages are assigned a numerical score from 0 to 100, relative to similar product types. Scores can be improved in various ways by applying the Smart Packaging Initiative’s Design Principles.

“Less packaging means lower costs, reduced regulatory fees, and more retail space for products. Reduced packaging made with recyclable materials is also what today’s consumers have come to expect,” added Kaufman.

A proprietary version of the tool, which was created by Disney and previously only available internally and for licensees, has been made available to Toy Association members via grant funding from Disney.