MHIA Joins International Sustainable Packaging Group

Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) has joined a new subcommittee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The group is developing global standards for sustainable packaging.

The subcommittee, ISO/TC 122/SC 4: “Packaging and Environment,” is proposing environmental standards for packaging based on existing European and Asian guidelines. Its goal is to offer guidance on maintaining packaging functionality while considering environmental effects.

In December 2009, SC 4 held its first meeting. Seventy delegates from 15 nations gathered in Stockholm, Sweden, to develop seven proposed standards addressing general requirements, source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, chemical recovery and organic recovery.

The group, comprised of 70 experts from 15 nations, expects the seven standards to be approved and published by 2012. Marilyn Baker of Coca-Cola spearheads the U.S. delegation.

To support the international effort in the U.S., MHIA has formed a new committee. MH10.4: “Packaging and Environment,” is a technical advisory group (USTAG) to SC 4.

Seven task groups within MH10.4 are being formed to work on each standard. USTAG is currently seeking experts to participate. The next meeting of the international subcommittee is slated for May 31-June 4 in Beijing, China, with another meeting set for October in Japan.

To participate in one of the U.S. task groups, please contact Mike Ogle, secretary for MH10.4.

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