Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Course

Customized training sessions that offer a comprehensive introduction into sustainable packaging essentials.

The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging are customized training courses that offer a comprehensive introduction to sustainability considerations that apply to the entire packaging life cycle: sourcing, design, recovery, and beyond.

Led by the SPC staff, these tailored sessions present an opportunity to bring a company’s entire staff (from packaging, marketing, management, to sustainability) up to a common level of understanding about how sustainability relates to the packaging operations. We have taught over 900 professionals from leading companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions since 2008.

Courses are available to both SPC and non-SPC member companies. Discounts are available for SPC members.

Participants will learn about:


Why Packaging?

  • The $11 billion elephant in the room
  • Making sustainability part of your brand
  • Communicating sustainability through packaging
  • Case studies: from start-ups to green giants

Optimize the Design

  • Leveraging the product/package system
  • Retail and shelf-ready packaging
  • Avoiding product and transportation waste
  • Biomimicry in sustainable packaging

Design for Recovery

  • Psychology of recycling
  • What does recyclable even mean? Compostable?
  • Fitting packaging into the infrastructure or change the infrastructure?
  • Designing with an end market in mind

Source Sustainably

  • Certifications: when, how and where to use them
  • Primary concerns for substrate types
  • Setting and reaching sourcing goals

Planetary Boundaries

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


Plus select 3 optional modules for the afternoon session:


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

Fiber Sourcing

  • Key considerations domestically and abroad
  • Sourcing and supply chain certifications
  • Recovered fiber and recycled feedstock

Compostable Packaging

  • Considerations for compostable plastic and fiber foodservice-ware
  • Understanding residential and commercial composting access
  • Compostable packaging as a vehicle for food waste diversion

We’ve taught over 900 professionals and counting! Here’s what past attendees have to say:

Book an Essentials course today!

Interested in hosting a session? Email Barbara Fowler at