The history of packaging begins with the use of natural materials such as leaves followed by weaved materials, pots, glass and wood.
Even Napoleon played a role with his prize money to anyone who could develop a method for preserving food to feed his army. This eventually led to the invention of tin canning by Peter Durand in 1810. Since then, packaging has evolved to include cardboard, aluminum, cellophane and plastics.
As part of this evolution, packaging must now address such issues as safety and reliability as well as protection of the environment and energy conservation. The IEC, together with ISO, has published a revised International Guide to help organizations ensure that their packaging meets these objectives.
ISO/IEC Guide 41, Packaging – Recommendations for addressing consumer needs provides guidance for packaging. It features detailed information on risk assessment, vulnerable consumers’ needs, cost reduction, use of resources, suitability for purpose and recycling. For consumers, it helps ensure safer, more appropriate and informative packaging.
According to Sandra Herrera, Co-convener of the working group that developed the Guide, “ISO/IEC Guide 41 will optimize product packaging, by providing international best practice and guidance on everything from ensuring the packaging protects the product effectively, to labelling information and environmental impact, such as reuse and recycling”.
ISO/IEC Guide 41 is available from the webstores of the IEC and IEC members.