Essentials of Sustainable Packaging

Online and in-person training courses led by the SPC staff.

The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging are educational training courses that provide an opportunity to bring a company’s entire staff up to a common level of understanding about how sustainability relates to packaging. The courses have taught over 1,000 professionals in-person over the past decade, and we are excited to announce the launch of an online version of the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging.

Developed by the SPC and fully taught by SPC staffers the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging start with a 5-part “Core Content” course that address all major materials and a multitude of product sectors, diving into the sustainability considerations for a package’s entire life cycle: sourcing, design, use, recovery, and beyond.

The Core Content is complemented by the Essentials of Bioplastics, the Essentials of Sourcing Fiber, and the Essentials of Compostable Packaging. Each of these hour-long targeted courses unpack more advanced and nuanced considerations for their unique supply chains, environmental profiles, and recovery possibilities. 

Online Courses

The  new online format is available for both individual and company-level annual subscriptions. Both the online and in-person formats are available to SPC and non-SPC members and discounts are available for SPC members.

In-person courses

The full day training workshop includes a morning with the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging’s Core Content and three hour-long courses in the afternoon. Currently, the courses offered for the afternoon are the Essentials of Bioplastics, the Essentials of Sourcing Fiber, and the Essentials of Compostable Packaging.

Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Core Content

Why Packaging?

  • Making sustainability part of your brand
  • Communicating sustainability through packaging
  • Case studies: from startups to green giants

Optimize the Design

  • Leveraging the product/package system
  • Avoiding product and transportation waste
  • Retail-ready v. e-commerce packaging

Design for Recovery

  • Psychology of recycling
  • What does recyclable even mean? Compostable?
  • Designing with an end market in mind

Source Sustainably

  • Certifications: when, how and where to use them
  • Primary concerns for virgin and recycled materials
  • Setting and reaching procurement goals

Planetary Boundaries

  • How packaging fits into “the whole”
  • Sourcing and manufacturing during the Great Acceleration
  • How to build resilience through packaging


The Essentials of Bioplastics 

  • A family of different materials
  • Bioplastics myth busting
  • Sourcing and recovery considerations
  • Compare and contrast bio-based recyclable resins with compostable resins

The Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

  • Principles of Responsible Forest Management strategies
  • Sourcing and supply chain certifications for virgin fiber
  • How to integrate recovered fiber and recycled feedstock

The Essentials of Compostable Packaging

  • Considerations for compostable plastic and fiber packaging
  • Understanding residential and commercial composting access
  • Compostable packaging as a vehicle for food waste diversion
  • Fundamentals of compostable packaging testing and certification

The Essentials of Ocean Plastic Pollution

Now online! 

  • How ocean plastic pollution impacts the marine environment
  • Global waste management infrastructure challenges
  • Ocean and ocean-bound plastic as feedstock
  • Government and industry-led initiatives around ocean plastic pollution


Essentials of Sustainable Packaging

From: $500 / year

Online Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Subscriptions


SKU: N/A Category:

Access to the educational courses will be given upon receipt of payment. All learners will be required to accept and abide by the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy.

Schedule An In-Person Essentials of Sustainable Packaging

SPC members – $12,500 + travel expenses for SPC staff teachers
Non-SPC members – $15,000 +  travel expenses for SPC staff teachers

The SPC staff can travel to your company to teach departments within your organization. To find out more please fill out the form below.

  • Eg. job titles, departments, or which companies you would like to teach if you are interested in bringing together colleagues from different companies in your area.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ve taught over 1,000 professionals and counting! Here’s what past attendees have to say: