Publication of the CNE document called “Eco-design and packaging: methodological guidebook”

Focus on a preventive action case in 2012
May 2012
Packaging reduction, a major issue for sustainable consumption:
May 2012

Publication of the CNE document called “Eco-design and packaging: methodological guidebook”

The main task of the CNE (French Packaging Council) is to work out and spread best practices in terms of design, prevention and reduced environmental impact all along the value chain of the packaging. The CNE wrote a three-fold Environment plan:

  • Becoming a reference in terms of Eco-design by establishing a recognized definition of “eco-design” and all its related terms.
  • Becoming a reference for packaging regarding environmental claims.
  • Meeting with stakeholders in order to spread best practices.




The terms “eco-design” and “eco-designed” tend to be overused or misused, leading to a myriad of conflicting definitions. Thus, it is hard to send a clear prevention message to:

  • Companies: how to take action? (whether it be a packaging manufacturer, a packing plant or a retailer)
  • Consumers: what does it mean to have eco-designed products and packaging?


The methods and tools available have been improved and sustainable development has been increasingly taken into account by companies as well as by legislative and regulatory provisions. Indeed, the CNE has updated its 2000 standards and issued a practical guide for companies in order to make the eco-designing of packaging easier.


The document in its entirety, its checklist of 25 points to watch after the manufacturing of packaging as well as a practical summary document are made available for companies.


Key-messages to remember:


The 6 key-points of Eco-Designing

  1. Involving all the internal and external players interested in the product from the beginning.
  2. Taking into account the consumer’s use of packaging.
  3. Considering the complete packaging system carefully in order to avoid impact transfers.
  4. Ensuring optimal packaging weight and/or volume to reach a defined use value for the product.
  5. Ensuring optimal use of natural resources when producing the packaging
  6. Taking into account the packaging’s end-of-life


The 4 basic rules of Eco-Designing

  1. Complying with the different regulations, particularly with the essential requirements (European directive 94/62/CE)
  2. Making sure not to alter the product’s use value
  3. Planning-out a complete life-cycle analysis approach of the packaged product
  4. Taking into account the packaging system in its entirety


These documents are available to download on the CNE website (section Library > Publications)