Release Notes: Sustainability Properties

April 22, 2019

Today is Earth Day. In honor of it, we're excited to share a new feature to help you make more environmentally sound packaging decisions: our Sustainability Properties framework.

As the internet's friendly neighborhood packaging experts, we're often asked questions like "How do I make my packaging more sustainable?", "Is this product recyclable?" or "What's the difference between compostable and biodegradable?".

These questions can be difficult to answer because the words do not have a single standard definition. Moreover, different sustainability strategies can sometimes be at odds with each other, so it is important to understand the upsides and downsides of any given approach.

In developing our sustainability properties framework we set out to accomplish four goals:

  1. Standardize the vocabulary of sustainability
  2. Highlight the tradeoffs of each approach
  3. Provide research that backs up each claim
  4. Keep improving as we uncover more data

As you visit lumi.com/properties you'll see a color-coded system that represents each phase of the product lifecycle: materials, fabrication, distribution and recovery.


For each property, we offer a short definition to give you a high-level overview of the concept. Reading through these definitions, you might begin to understand why some concepts are so hard to define. With recyclability, for example, it was important to distinguish between curbside recyclability and drop-off recyclability.

Furthermore, we decided to start by focusing on standards that could be used by companies in the United States, since the best practices vary greatly from country to country, and even down to the municipality.


We pored over thousands of pages of studies, white papers, life cycle analyses, regulations, and standards to create our definitions, and help elucidate the tradeoffs.

At the end of each page you'll see a list of some of the sources used. We consider these pages to be living documents which will improve as we continue to add more data points and answers to frequently asked questions.


Each product in the Lumi Catalog lists matching properties. It's important to note that because Lumi offers global manufacturing services, not all properties are available from every factory in our network. If there are specific criteria you are looking to meet, you'll be able to call them out when kicking off a project with us.

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Share feedback on Twitter or send us a suggestion.

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