Aussie software revolutionising packaging design

Thursday, 13 March, 2008

After three years in development, an Australian online software application is set to revolutionise the impact of packaging on the environment.

The Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET) was developed for the Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA) to provide a means for food and beverage packaging designers and manufacturers to identify, review and prioritise actions to reduce the environmental impact of their products.

“Companies using the tool are able to assess the environmental impact of their proposed packaging over its lifespan within a matter of minutes — a task which previously would have taken many weeks, thousands of dollars to complete and could only be performed by a small number of life cycle assessment specialists,” said Ian Coles, chair of SPA.

“It offers comparable rankings of the proposed packaging across solid waste, water, energy and climate change criteria. Importantly, PIQET allows users to explore variations to their packaging designs to minimise the effect it has on the key criteria.

“PIQET allows environmental considerations to be taken into account alongside financial and marketing elements — something that could not be done before,” he said.

PIQET considers all levels of packaging and different product categories and allows for assessments of incoming raw materials packaging systems and outgoing packaging systems of an organisation.

PIQET is available by subscription and is already used by a number of leading food and beverage companies, many of whom were involved in its development.

These included Nestlé Australia, Cadbury Schweppes, Lion Nathan, MasterFoods Australia and Simplot Australia.

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