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Packaging is an integral and essential part of the industrial and commercial supply chain. It protects goods from damage, allows efficient transport distribution, offers convenience, prolongs shelf-life, enables easy use, informs the consumer and helps to promote goods in a competitive market place.
The popularly presented image of packaging often fails to recognise the contribution that it makes to our modern lifestyle and exaggerates its environmental impact. Attention is usually focused on the waste generated by used sales packaging and ignores the fact that packaging protects far more resources than it uses and that it reduces overall waste.
This section examines the issues.