The US Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP) has announced the publication of a newly updated third edition of its Sustainable Packaging Specification Recommendations for Automotive Manufacturing Operations guidance.

Updating the second edition, published in June 2022, the document provides guidance to help automakers and their suppliers identify potential opportunities to source sustainable packaging designs for automotive manufacturing operations.

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The recommendations are based on proven best practices that have been implemented by industry environmental sustainability leaders.

The latest version provides expanded guidance on the viable recyclability of a range of different automotive packaging materials, including the addition of new materials such as vapour corrosion inhibitors, wood dunnage [transportation equipment] and plastic dunnage trays.

Additional information was added in this edition related to foam packaging products, commonly used to protect parts within returnable containers, and the challenges and opportunities to be considered in striving to improve the circularity of foams.

The update also includes information on circular economy design principles and highlights opportunities to improve the recyclability of automotive packaging in the design phase.

The latest edition of the guidance document was produced through a collaborative process by SP’s Sustainable Packaging Work Group.

The group recommends that the sustainable packaging strategies outlined in the guidance document be reviewed within automotive companies’ packaging design and sourcing considerations, where appropriate, and distributed widely across the automotive supply chain as best practice guidance.

Packaging companies such as Avery Dennison and Labelmaster have expanded their offerings for the automotive and car industry in recent years.