The Next Sustainability Hot Button?

April 1, 2011
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Concern over the health implications of packaging materials is on the rise. The latest fears cropped up after Swiss scientists revealed a potential health risk in the mineral oils found in European recycled paperboard; exposure to such oils has been linked to inflammation of internal organs and cancer. While the researchers stress that exposure to such chemicals would have to occur over many years before health risks came to bear, UK cereal brand Jordan’s has stopped using recycled board, and Kellogg’s says it is working to minimize the mineral oil levels in its European packaging. Mineral oils are not a problem in US recycled board, according to Deborah White of the Recycled Paperboard Technical Association, who says the FDA’s regulations control for the impurities that were of concern in the European studies. Regardless, material health - a guiding principle of sustainable packaging - is cropping up as one of the latest packaging hot buttons.

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