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UPS Evaluates Shipping Packages for Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Packaging is a major metric of sustainable product design. UPS uses packaging test machines to measure and evaluate sustainability metrics of packaging solutions for distribution product design.

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UPS, a major packaging distribution choice for businesses of all sizes, has introduced a three-pronged approach to packaging sustainability focusing on reducing damage, right-sizing packaging for efficiency, and evaluating materials.

Sustainable Packaging for Parcel Delivery Service

UPS offers customers an assessment of their shipment packaging based on environmental standards.

Eco Responsible Packaging Program by UPS

Under the Eco Responsible Packaging Program, UPS will evaluate a customer's packaging processes in three areas of sustainability:
  • Damage prevention
  • Right-sizing
  • Packaging materials

UPS uses more than 15 packaging test machines to measure and evalute sustainability metrics of packaging solutions. Among them are compression testers, vibration tables, impact/drop testing, and a temperature/humidity chamber.

Key Testing Standards Used at the UPS Package Evaluation Facility

Intl. Safe Transit Assn. | Procedure 3A ~ which is a general simulation test for individual packaged products shipped through a parcel delivery system. This test evaluates four different package types: standard, small, flat, and elongated packages.

ASTM Intl. | D4169 ~ ASTM describes D4169-09 as a standard practice for performance testing of shipping containers and systems.

UPS's assessment methodology and processes are verified by Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS), an inspection, verification, testing, and certification company.

The evaluation will assess the customer's transport packaging systems and procedures, rather than product packaging found on retail shelves. The program only takes into account the transportation (secondary) packaging that a company uses. UPS will not evaluate manufacturer's product packaging included within the secondary container; instead, it will consider the sustainability of a company's shipment packaging processes for the secondary box.

The contractual-based service is available to customers who commit to sustainable packaging solutions. Pricing is determined on a project basis and the program is conducted by the UPS Package Engineering Group.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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