Lowered weight means lowered space requirements, which translates to lowered transportation costs. The space savings offered by flexibles relative to rigids is enormous, especially when considering unfilled or empty packages. To illustrate, one truckload of empty (flat) flexible pouches is about equivalent to 15-25 truckloads of empty rigid containers! That’s a routine savings of at least 14 times for transporting empty packaging to a filler or contract packager!
Using flexible packaging instead of rigid packaging results in significant benefits to the environment over the package’s entire life cycle. This includes material and energy savings during manufacturing, vastly lowered space utilization in landfills, and lowered energy and emissions during the distribution process. Another case study by the Flexible Packaging Association analyzed the environmental benefits of using a flexible pouch versus a rigid clamshell for cookies. The results found an equivalent of 87% less coal or 64% less crude oil utilized during manufacturing when switching from rigid to flexible; 79% lowered CO2 emissions during manufacturing; and 69% reduction of solid waste into landfills. These numbers are staggering, and only one of the many reasons to preferentially use flexible packaging whenever possible!