Four Strategies for Energy Saving Packaging
Dow materials and application knowledge supports a range of energy saving packaging strategies. We collaborate with converters and brand owners to create more energy-efficient production processes and reduce energy used in production and/or transportation.
Four Energy Saving Strategies
Creating practical, sustainable energy saving packaging solutions is all about materials and process optimization. They can be broadly divided into for strategic areas.
Strategy 1: Improve Processing
Dow™ Biomax® Strong resin modifiers act as a processing aid in PLA (polylactic acid) sheet forming, reducing extruder torque and melt temperatures, which, in turn, reduces processing power consumption. Using Biomax® Strong can reduce power consumption by as much as 30% in PLA sheet extrusion.
Strategy 2: Increase Output
Dow™ Booster™ melt strength enhancer is a linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)-based master-batch resin intended for use in extrusion processing. Booster™ can increase output by helping to reduce common problems of poor bubble stability and wide gauge variability. Increased output means more usable packaging material can be produced in less time with less energy use.
Strategy 3: Improve Transportation
Dow™ Surlyn® ionomer resin for skin and stretch packaging is a lightweight and compact alternative to clamshells and blisters. It enables a low ratio of packaging to contents, which reduces weight and transports more efficiently versus clamshells, saving fossil fuel used in shipping.
Strategy 4: Optimize the LifecycleSurlyn® is a strong, high-performing material, even when used in low thicknesses. Using thinner layers of Surlyn® in a multi-layer structure instead of thicker LDPE or HDPE layers can substantially optimize packaging weight and package lifecycle while maintaining package performance.
Performance Makes Energy Efficiency Possible
The common thread behind all the energy saving packaging strategies above is the application-specific performance of Dow materials. Comparable or better packaging cost and performance isn’t negotiable – the key to improving energy efficiency is combining both costs and business efficiencies through advanced materials science and expert support.
Reducing Our Own Energy Use
Dow was among the first companies to set environmental goals, doing so more than 20 years ago. In 2011, Dow received the Energy Efficiency Award from the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
Within the Dow Packaging business, plant upgrades to ethylene furnaces have saved approximately 540 billion BTUs of energy – enough to power 3,800 households. This has also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons/year.
Since 2003, CO2 emissions have dropped by 40%, and BTUs consumed per pound of production have decreased by 50%. We continue to focus on reducing our own energy use in parallel with creating energy saving packaging solutions for our customers.