DOST Dares Packaging Industry: Address Environmental Impact
“PTD is now ready to take the challenge of DOST, to capacitate the academic institutions in the field of packaging,”
Asia Packaging Network (APN) Chairperson Ms. Daisy E. Tañafranca
By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current News
(SDN) — PACKAGING impacts the environment.
Unquestionably, packaging has various environmental impacts. The large quantity of packaging is a source of the impact, like the manufacturing effect on the packaging, and its impact of disposing of the packaging in landfills.
Biz Fluent defines product packaging “as materials used to present goods, contain them appropriately and provide for safe shipping and handling.”
To address the various issues concerning packaging, the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ITDI) is presently conducting a conference at the Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City, Metro Manila.
It’s the Asia Packaging Network (APN) International Packaging Symposium hosted by the Philippines through the DOST-ITDI.
At the conference which runs from October 22 to 23, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara dared the packaging industry of the Philippines to address the impact on the environment.
“I challenge the packaging industry, end-users of packaging and government institutions to address environmental problems related to packaging,” she said.
Guevara issued the challenge vis-a-vis the proliferation of packaging materials that inundate waterways in the Philippines every time there is flooding.
She cited the case of Japan and the discipline of the Japanese people which the latest typhoon last week demonstrated: floods hit many parts of Japan but there was no garbage floating.
Guevara ventured that banning plastics may not be the answer to the problems, “but to practice 3Rs in packaging, reduce, reuse and recycle.”
“I think more than blaming packaging causing flooding as in the Philippine scenario, it is more of having the discipline of disposing garbage including packaging materials and containers,” the DOST undersecretary pointed out.
The DOST official apparently suggested the 10 member institutions of the APN “could work on research that will be used as basis in making policy, measures and ordinances on packaging specifically food contact materials.”
At present, a Filipino woman — Ms. Daisy E. Tañafranca — chairs the APN, which has a number of researchers in its fold in packaging-related universities and research institutions in Asia. Tañafranca is chief of the Packaging Technology Division (ITDI-PTD).
The APN chairperson noted that the network has 9 members from the academe, with only the ITDI-PTD as the sole member from the government that does packaging research.
Tañafranca revealed the APN welcomes new members as it expands its roster, citing interest from India and Sri Lanka.
APN, she pointed out, conducts packaging symposium and exchange program, such as inviting experts from other institutions.
Meanwhile, the APN board was to meet later in the day to discuss two items: 1. formulate collaborative research programs involving member institutions on green packaging technology and intelligent packaging, and 2. formulate training programs to cover packaging testing, etc.
The ITDI invited academic institutions in the country to expose them in the field of packaging, and to create interest in becoming members of the network of academic institutions that ITDI-PTD is organizing.
“PTD is now ready to take the challenge of DOST, to capacitate the academic institutions in the field of packaging,” said Tañafranca. She said the field of packaging is “an immense field.”
She recalled the APN was formally created in 2013 and its inaugural meeting held in South Korea. The APN’s two objectives are 1. promote academic programs related to packaging; 2. collaborate on packaging research and sharing of research experiences; and 3. support the industries, the public and the government authorities on relevant data information on packaging. (SDN)