A Supply Chain Perspective on Green Packaging Development -Theory Versus Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how companies work during packaging development to reduce negative environmental impact along supply chains, and to compare their practical approaches with the theoretical concepts presented in the literature. The research approach is explorative and based on nine cases in the food and manufacturing industries in Sweden. Data were collected from the managerial perspectives of the packaging manager, the logistics manager and the environmental manager. The findings indicate that companies commonly apply a variety of green packaging approaches with a focus on approaches with clear economic benefits. Moreover, companies seem to lack guidance on how to handle trade-offs and are unable to fully utilize the theoretical environmental benefits of green packaging approaches because of internal and external barriers. The paper presents five propositions regarding to what extent the theoretical green packaging concepts are applied in practice. To address the gap between theory and practice companies should: develop packaging solutions that contribute to a reduction of environmental impact from the consumer phase (for example through improved apportionment, user-friendly and informative packaging); use local packaging adaptation as a strategy to address geographically varying transport, handling and waste management conditions; replace brand recognition through packaging size and shape with graphic design, high-quality materials and printing. The results confirm that internal and external collaborations are important requirements for successful green packaging development. Copyright (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Engineering


  • Case Study, Green Packaging, Packaging Development, Sustainable Packaging, Sustainable Supply Chain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
JournalPackaging Technology & Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch