Sustainable:Adj. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level: sustainable fusion reactions. + Ecology (esp. of development, exploitation, or agriculture) conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. + able to be upheld or defended: sustainable definitions of good educational practice. – sustainability n. ecology.
So reads The Oxford American College Dictionary. This “sustainability” term used in packaged goods is the latest in an ongoing effort to define what I call optimized packaging. In the 1980’s we began with the three R’s, reduce, recycle, reuse. The recycling symbology was defined, debated, re-defined, debated, and finally implemented by the society of plastics institute or SPI. The objective was to identify plastic types to aid in the new wave of plastics recycling. Soon they were referred to as good numbers or bad numbers based on recycling rates, facts, myths, erroneous media reports, and misinformation. PVC is bad, so bad they banned its use throughout Europe. PET is good, easily recycled and useful in the recycling stream.